Running With Purpose

This was not the first time I did it. I picked up my keys and left the apartment for a run, and quickly noticed that I had once again picked up the wrong set of keys and locked myself out. My wife was at work, so I had to go to the other side of town to borrow her keys. Because I was already in my jogging suit, I thought why not go out for a run anyway. I never learn.

158px-Muybridge_runner

Source: Wikipedia

When I normally go for a run, I have no particular place to go. I just go out, pick a direction and run. There is a wonderful pointlessness to it all. That’s part of the charm of running. There’s no big plan, no real objective, nothing to achieve. The French philosopher Guillaume le Blanc writes about the pointlessness of running in his book Courir (2012). The pointlessness, repetitiveness and meaninglessness of running are as obvious to him as they are to everyone else. However, le Blanc notes that we hang on to life with meaningless and repetitive gestures. They keep us going. The futility of running is a wonderful thing, like all futile things. It is awful to lose it, even momentarily.

A strange horror washes over you when you suddenly have to be at a certain place at a certain time while running. Gone is the carelessness of the exercise, the wonderful aimlessness of the run. There is a starting point, checkpoints and a goal: a beginning, a middle and an end. There is structure and a narrative instead of freedom. The Greeks descend upon you with their philosophies. All of the sudden the rain on your face is a nuisance, stepping in a puddle makes you angry and you consider the possibility of failure.

I hope I never forget my keys ever again.

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