I can no longer run. After 7 or 8 years of not running, I no longer think of myself as a runner. I am a walker, a cyclist, sometimes a swimmer – but I’m not a runner. Life goes on.
However, when I read this description of what it is to be a runner in Kate Atkinson’s most recent Jackson Brodie novel “Big Sky”, I was slammed back into the past! A single paragraph on page 142…that’s all it took.
“Running wasn’t pointless, of course. Sometimes you did it to try to outrun your thoughts, sometimes you did it to chase them and bring them down. Sometimes you did it so that you didn’t think at all. Jackson had tried meditation (he had, honestly) but he just couldn’t sit and think of nothing. Could anyone, really? He imagined the Buddha cross-legged beneath his tree with a cartoon speech balloon filled with things like ‘Remember to buy dog food, check tyre pressures, phone my accountant.’ But running – running was mediation.”
Has anyone ever described running better? Not from where I sit…er, walk.