As I am trying to structure the first draft for a book about running and writing, I looked through the Table of Contents of some of my favourite books to help me define the right one for my book.
And as I reach for Running & Being: The Total Experience by Dr George Sheehan, of course I start reading and cannot stop. This section is from the final chapter titled Seeing:
“… now I begin to get beyond this sight and sound, of observing the road ahead and the water to the side. The running alone occupies me. Fills my awareness. I am a steady flow. I am pure involvement. Total concentration. I am comfortable, calm, relaxed, full of running. I could run like this forever.
"And during all this I narrow my conscience to the immediate moment. I am moving from time measured to time standing still. I am giving up past and future for this now. I am leaving the linear line where my footsteps are a metronome, my pulse and respirations are in harmony, and every eight minutes I moved my body one mile.
"And for a while I alternate. Briefly, I return to sweat and movement and sun warm between my shoulder blades, the sight of sea and sky. Then once again I am in the now, the eternal present where literally nothing happens. I am suspended, content with the nothing.
"And the peace that comes with it. And that perhaps is the essence of the running experience for me, and any number of different experiences for other people. The lack of anxiety, the complete acceptance, the letting go and the faith that all be well.
"In running, I feel free. I have no other goal, no other reward. The running is its own reason for being. And I run with no threat of failure. In fact, I run with no threat of success. There can be no consequences to make me worry or doubt. I am secure whatever happens. And in that security I reach a wholeness that I find nowhere else.”
From Running & Being: The Total Experience by Dr. George Sheehan