There once was a time, not too long ago, when how fit and strong you were had a much deeper significance in our lives than it does today. It is a relatively short journey back along our evolutionary ladder when in fact if you were not fit or strong, or perhaps extremely cunning you simply wouldn’t survive.
It was back in the age, when if you wanted to eat dinner you either had to chase it down or till the earth and make it grow. Also in that time, when danger came along, you had better be able to out run it, or you would be diner for something much fiercer and stronger than you.
The 6 & 10 Day Self Transcendence race finally came to an end today. It was a breezy overcast day with alternating showers mixed with tantalizing glimpses of bright sun. By all accounts it was a wonderful event in which nearly every one declared that they had a wonderful time. One can hope that if there were a few abstainers from this view than we can predict that there perspective just might mellow a little with time. That maybe in a few weeks, when the aches and blisters are all gone they may reassess their opinions and declare it a great success. Everyone I spoke to at least said they had a great time here at the Self Transcendence race.
Most likely there were moments when it felt like it would simply never ever be over. That 10 days or 6 days is an eternity when you are trying to run as far as you possibly can. In the great scheme of things this amount of time is nothing. Perhaps though, what each of the runners achieved here may in fact be much more precious than they dare to even realize.
The race was not covered by any big news network and though 17 countries were represented here it was barely a blip on the global news radar. It was of course pretty important to me and also to many others who have tried to follow the events taking place here. As monotonous as it might seem there were ever evolving dramatic changes taking place here, on a moment to moment, mile to mile basis. For me it least it was a place of dreams and hopes. It is simply almost impossible for a non participant to adequately recognize all the toil and effort that goes into it, with a just an added dash of suffering thrown in for good measure. The reward for all who worked so hard here is negligible, that is when you consider just how much effort was sacrificed over this brief but intense period.
No one’s survival was ever at stake, no danger lurked behind any bushes, and food was always available, without the need for a spear or a plow. The real value of all this individual effort however is another matter. There were, from time to time, moments of ego and pride that surfaced and helped push a runner out of bed and back on the road. Perhaps chasing a glory that only they could see, and maybe they caught the golden ring and maybe it slipped away, but still something was gained in all this mysterious incomprehensible action that is masked by our human frailty.
For beneath our goretex running suits and anatomically correct shoes is the real us. Something that we all hope we can draw closer to, even though we may not understand nor clearly see exactly what it is. There is an inspiration that comes from our heart and continues to push us onward. It is not bad to believe that maybe, just maybe, we can make at least a little progress each new day and with each new mile. For in our present age running is no longer just about physical survival but can be about something deeper, soulfully illumining, and much more profoundly transcendent.