As the end of winter becomes a reality, especially for one who LOVES winter, it’s a time of reflection, and this really means I have to patiently figure out ways to cope graciously with something imposed upon me by a greater power (simply called the tilting of the planet…the vernal equinox, get it?). As the ice starts to disappear, footfalls are easier, more sure, we can let our guard down (balance). I was doing this last week while carrying a long 2’x4’ trying to get down some monster icicles from the roof. Where did that invisible slick of ice come from anyway? Not paying attention, I went down hard, and am still limping. Darn. The only “fall” all winter, including skiing. L This makes me wonder even more about my role in helping power that gigantic explosion of 10 million stars. (I’m referring to the refrain from the song from Fame I mentioned in February’s newsletter: “I sing the body electric, I celebrate the me yet to come, I toast to my own reunion when I become one with the sun, and I’ll look back on Venus, I’ll look back on Mars, and I’ll burn with the fire of 10 million stars, and in time and in time, we will all be stars”)
So, was all this business of 55 years’ worth or running like crazy, skiing like crazy, heck – doing everything physical like crazy – was it all just getting the body in shape so I can…“go out” in a teeny “poof” (as the Earth burns up spectacularly in the Sun). Of course, we’re talking about millions/billions of years from now, but do you get my drift? Are you laughing out loud yet, or does it promote some introspection?
This is where I’m going with this: As a running club, we encourage everyone to get physically fit, running fit. Why? It has a lot to do with having that intense feeling of “being alive” and that can’t help but make you feel good and worthwhile. It helps working on goals, getting the body to respond better and being more integrated with the other part of your life – your inner life – the life you lead in your head (or mind, or spirit, or that other part that supports your body). That said, why bring up the fact of the galactic cycle – where new star systems coalesce from former star systems that finished their life spans? Is that really what we’re doing – being born on this planet – getting our heat/light/energy from our “mature” sun - and getting fit as possible in this life cycle, and then….what? Is this a dead-end conversation? Not for me. It opens up infinite possibilities. The refrain speaks of the “me yet to come” and having a “reunion when I become one with the sun”. This really speaks of an ultimate life course, doesn’t it? …becoming one with the sun sounds a lot like becoming one with all life – with all that is going on, on this planet right now. And my personal hypothesis is that what it’s all about is being the most vibrant you possible, and this has to include making your own physical body able to support as easily as possible the “real” you – who you are inside, what motivates you to get up every morning, what helps determine what you’ll eat today, say today, think today, create today. And that is what forms your life on Earth. “…and in time, and in time, we will all be stars.” Startling, perhaps. But don’t you have to admit it’s exciting to think you’ll take part in forming a new star system – physically? That still blows my mind. It could result in not “sweating the small stuff” – like I do so much! Example: the last 10 miler I skate skied at CrossCut I averaged a 9:38 mile – which I arrived at by a very careful attention to my GPS watch – a careful one point focus for 96 minutes and 14 seconds. Why the heck do something as ridiculous as that? There is no logical explanation of course. I took the body I currently have, and put it through a “routine” on snow. Basically, I was once more putting the body through its paces to get it ready for any challenge that can come along. I want to be ready to be the “me yet to come” so I can “become one with the sun” ….in the best shape possible. And this is very probably the most outrageous article I’ve even written. But then these days are certainly the most outrageous we’ve seen in our current lives, no? Hmmm, we’ve all got some pretty exciting happenings ahead of us, don’t you think? - David Summerfield
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David Nutter Summerfield
The following blogs were first published in The Windrinker, a running newsletter published in Bozeman, MT (www.Windrinkers.org). There is a constant attempt at viewing the foibles of long distance runners in a humorous light so we don't take ourselves too seriously.