Monday, January 21, 2013

Binary Sunset

Today I would like to share the most important movie scene of all time and why it relates precisely to what running means.  It is the binary sunset scene from Star Wars a New Hope.

Why is this the most important scene in all of cinematic history?  Luke Skywalker looks to the unknown, to the future, feeling he must leave the confines of sandy Tatooine to complete his destiny.  Yes, the eventual destruction of the Empire is the ultimate climactic event in the Star Wars saga, but it's this moment that touches me the most.  Luke.  Alone, full of teenage angst, energy, Hope.  (Now that I've proven that this is the number one moment in Star Wars, it follows by the triangle inequality that it's the best moment in cinematic history. Q.E.D.)

No girl who's read this far will ever talk to me again, so I may as well continue.  Runners face the unknown all the time.  We have some control over our destiny through training and experience, but a lot of the time we're making big sacrifices for goals that only might be reached.  We look out like Luke does from our current position, knowing we have the potential to end up in one of a million different places at the end of the season, the year, our running careers.  You have to have some kind of weird motivation that allows you to keep working hard knowing you could fail.  To be good, you must tip toe the line between injury and health.  You have to spend years and years doing it.

Most of the miles I run strengthen me physically.  But I'll never forget the lessons I've learned from the many miles I shouldn't have run, when I should've rested or run slower.  I value those just as much. A perfect training program doesn't exist because everyone is different:  the athlete is responsible for finding out who he or she is.  I've learned a lot.  Every time I set out on a run or a week or a season, I feel myself staring at the Binary Sunset, unsure of what's ahead.  But every time I'm just a little more prepared to handle it.

Learn from Han Solo: Distance running doesn't
have to be a lonely endeavor.

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