Sojourns

Reflections on a year in 365 photographs

365:FORTY-TWO

with 2 comments

A stock shot of running shoes and gear.

Paraphernalia

I am addicted to running.  Or so the story goes among a few of my friends and family.  Heck, even some scientists recently claimed that excessive exercise could be as addictive as heroin.  Now I don’t know anything about that.  I just love running.

Perhaps I’m in denial.  Is it normal to feel exhilarated after a 31 mile jaunt?  How do I explain that the best periods in my life usually coincide with 50+ mile running weeks?  Does anyone else find the answers to life are best found 8 miles into a forest trail?  Now that I’ve written those things out, I recognize I’m definitely in a minority.

But is that addiction?  Should I take the hint and blame it on all those endorphins?  Or is it a healthy love of a life affirming action?  I run most days.  I run when its hot.  I run when its raining.  I run in the desert.  I run up mountains.  I run when I’ve got less than an hour to spare.  I run 3 or 4 hours if I’m left to my own devices.

I’m often asked what I think about while I’m running.  Or why do I not wear the ubiquitous iPod?  Do I think about the act of running?  Do I have to focus on ice cream or beer or listen to music to distract from the “pain”?  No.  I don’t need music to distract me.  I don’t often feel “pain” when I run.  When I do, it’s usually a sign I should stop.  I rarely even think while I’m out on the roads.  It’s more like a feeling…experiencing my body as it floats over the ground.  Ironically, that lack of thinking often brings clarity to tough issues elsewhere in my life.

There is nothing like the feeling of running strongly, powerfully, efficiently.  When every fiber of my body feels as though it is contributing to the forward flow.  I am most alive when I have brought my body to peak condition and it responds to everything I ask of it.  Steve Prefontaine spoke of running as a gift.  I believe it.

I don’t run for the awards, t-shirts, or accolades.  I don’t run for water-cooler bragging rights.  I don’t run to lose weight or get in shape.  I don’t run for all the rad gear.  Really, how cool can it be to parade around in tights, smelly shirts, and garish shoes?

For me, running is freedom.  Running is joy.  Running is life!

About the image:  My original concept involved tossing these items in the air and doing some stop-motion strobing.  One hundred frames later, I still hadn’t gotten the composition I was looking for.  I’m stubborn like that.  But eventually I decided upon a different tack and came up with this shot.  The post processing is deliberate to give it a bit more edginess.

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Written by Brian Fancher

February 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Very cool shot. I know nothing about photography but I do know that I love orange racing gear!!! I keep trying to convince my coach to get orange clothing for us 🙂

    Cathy Williams

    February 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    • Thanks, Cathy. I agree! Orange definitely beats the crimson and white Canadian gear! 😉

      Brian Fancher

      February 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm


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