I run to breathe the fresh air. I run
to explore. I run to escape the ordinary.
I run to savor the trip along the way.
Life becomes a little more vibrant,
a little more intense. I like that.

Dean Karnazes


It amazes me to think that I'm putting a page on running on this site only after thirteen years.  What's taken so long?  Running always has been a very important part of my life, something that has helped me to cope with, to endure, to enjoy, and to get the most out of life.  I've run in some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, sometimes all alone with no one around for many, many miles.  It's opened the doors to better health and a broader perspective, it's given me something to work at improving without any judgment or stress, and it's helped me to learn about pushing through pain and exhaustion in order to reach my goals.  Now, finally, I get around to adding a page about it.  It's about time!

People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree.

Haruki Murakami
What I Talk About When
I Talk About Running

Running!  If there's any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can't think of what it might be.  In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms.

Joyce Carol Oates


When people ask me why I run, I tell them, there's not really a reason,
it's just the adrenalin when you start, and the feeling when you cross that
finish line, and know that you are a winner no matter what place you got.

Courtney Parsons


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Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew.
It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him
weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.

John L. Parker Jr.


I always loved running. . . it was something you could do by yourself,
and under your own power.  You could go in any direction, fast or
slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out
new sights just on the strength of your feet
and the courage of your lungs.

Jesse Owens


The miracle isn't that I finished.
The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

John Bingham

Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to
run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time.  Also, there are
those hours of clear-headedness that follow a long run.

Monte Davis

What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us
on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days
gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.

John Bingham


That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they'd never forgotten what it felt like to love running.  They remembered that running was mankind's first fine art, our original act of inspired creation.  Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain.  And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs?  A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle--behold, the Running Man.

Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet.  You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together.  You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else.  And like everything else we love--everything we sentimentally call our 'passions' and 'desires'--it's really an encoded ancestral necessity.  We were born to run; we were born because we run.  We're all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.

Christopher McDougall
Born to Run:  A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes,
and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen


Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in
removing tension and allowing a release from whatever
other cares the day may bring.

Jimmy Carter

Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move.
We were meant to run. It's the easiest sport.

Bill Rodgers


If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now.
Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.

Priscilla Welch

Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective
about the relative seriousness of things.  Running is play, for even
if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares.

Jim Fixx

I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner.  We are all runners,
some just run faster than others.  I never met a fake runner.

Bart Yasso


I run because it's so symbolic of life.  You have to drive yourself to
overcome the obstacles.  You might feel that you can't.  But then
you find your inner strength, and realize you're
capable of so much more than you thought.

Arthur Blank

It's a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not
a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do.

Alan Sillitoe

Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your
last race or about how many miles you ran last week.  It is, in a much
more important way, about community, about appreciating all
the miles run by other runners, too.

Richard O'Brien


When you think about it, the idea that running might teach you
something about life shouldn't be too shocking.  In a fairly obvious
sense, running is life made small.  A run has a beginning and an end.
There are obstacles to overcome, good days and bad days.  You
pass some people and get passed by others.  There are tests and
challenges, disappointments and achievements, days you feel you have
nothing left to give and other days when you feel you can go forever.

Larry Shapiro
Zen and the Art of Running



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It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run.
The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination.
We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to
get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long
as where we are is as good as where we'd like to be. That's not to say that
you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to
honor what you've accomplished, rather than thinking of what's left to be done.

John Bingham
No Need for Speed: A Beginner's
Guide to the Joy of Running

Elite runners are genetically gifted, sure, but without intense training, those gifts
are wasted. Their training creates a strong work ethic that leaves humility in its
wake. There are no short cuts in marathoning, so anyone
who is a marathoner has worked hard.

Jeff Horowitz
My First 100 Marathons

Running cleared the day's cobwebs from my mind and focused my thinking,
and gave me time and space to sort out anything that was bothering me,
or to detach and think of nothing at all.


When it's pouring rain and you're bowling along through the wet, there's
satisfaction in knowing you're out there and the others aren't.

Peter Snell


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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