Friday, October 27, 2006


My legs started coming around yesterday. Maybe foam rolling them helped or maybe it was just the passage of time. I still haven’t run since the race and I’m not sure when I’ll start again. I actually have a stronger desire to get back out there than normal. However, I also know that this is my main break for the year – barring injury – so I want to make sure I’m ready before lacing them up again.

The downtime also gives me a chance to focus on my other projects a little. Last night Jim was kind enough to host a little gathering for Norm, Don, Eric and I. I’m writing an article on the first 3 guys, so I thought it’d be nice to sit around for 90 minutes and talk running. It turns out that wasn’t nearly enough time. I’ll see what I can come up with using the material I have. If I need more information, then we’ll have an excuse to get together to talk running and drink beer. There are worse things in life.

Downtime also usually means catching up on some reading. I’m curious if there are any Dr. George Sheehan fans out there? Before passing away, he wrote numerous books on running – mostly the philosophical side of the sport. Right now I’m reading Running & Being and I thought I’d share some of the stuff that I like and/or can relate to from the book – like I did with Running with the Buffalos awhile ago.

My design is thin and linear. I am a nervous, shy noncombatant who has no feeling for people. I do not hunger and thirst after justice. I find no happiness in carnival, no joy in community. I am one with the writers on The New Yorker whom Brendan Gill described. They touched each other only by accident, were secretive about everything, and never introduced anyone properly.

Racing is the lovemaking of the runner. It’s hard to pass up. A runner has few friends, and they are always other runners. The place to meet them is at the races.

Fitness is my life; it is indispensable. I have no alternative, no choice, but to act out this inner drive that seems entirely right for me.

As a writer, I’m Eddie Stanky, a .230 hitter…When I write, I tell who I am, what I’m like, what I’ve discovered running. I’m not embarrassed to expose myself. I don’t care what I write as long as it’s true.

But writing is never easy. And no matter how well done, never to one’s satisfaction. Writing, someone said, is turning blood into ink. Whatever, the idea of suffering is so natural to both writers and runners it seems to be a common bond.

Quote of the day;

“No athlete ever lived, or saint or poet for that matter, who was content with what he did yesterday, or would even bother thinking about it. Their pure concern is the present. Why should we common folk be any different?” – George Sheehan


Anonymous said...

I've read enough of Dr. Sheehan to guess that some of the last part of your post was extensive quotation, and you might have left out the blockquote tags?

Trisaratops said...

Never read him...will have to pick this up. Thanks for the excerpt! I've been loving the run like crazy lately.

Chad said...

Sara, it's been awhile since I've read any of his stuff. This is a new book for me. If I remember correctly Going the Distance and Did I Win? are really good.

Glad you're loving the run. That'll help when you go after that BQ.

Ryan said...

Thanks for the passage. I enjoyed it. Maybe Dr. Sheehan's book will inspire me to chase the writing goals I have, as well as run. Hope you're enjoying your rest.

Anonymous said...

I have read him, he has a unique style and perspective, no one quite like him. Also his son Andrew wrote a book on his life and times, "Chasing the Hawk", it was excellent.

Chad said...

Ryan, I should post about this, but if you really have some writing goals, you should ask around to the local publications. The ones around here all seem to to be looking for writers. Go for it.

Vince, I have this habit of buying books but waiting to read them. Chasing the Hawk is one of them. Maybe I'll read if after finishing Running & Being.