Several years ago, a good friend of mine told me about a conversation he had with some people he worked with. They got to talking about running — as one does 😃 — and eventually the conversation came around to the longest distance that each of them had ever run.
One of them shared that he’d participated in a contest with a few runner friends of his, to see how far they could go before they just had to stop. Like, couldn’t go any further. (Or is it farther?) The friend shared with that group that he ran 77 miles before he said, “I’m out.”
I’m fascinated with this story not because I want to go out and run 77 miles — I don’t! — but I’m really interested in how far each of us wants to go, how far we think we might be able to go if we really pushed ourselves.
What reminded me of all of this was an article that appeared in the Atlantic this week — “Go For a Walk,” by Arthur C. Brooks — about his 100-mile-long walking pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, a network of walking routes in Spain that has attracted travelers from around the world for more than 1,000 years.
To be sure, Brooks didn’t do it all at once — he walked about 20 kilometers a day, for a journey that took about a week — but I loved what he had to say about it:
“The secret of the Camino is really its utter lack of thrills. The quiet monotony is initially hard to deal with. At the beginning of the journey, interior shouting torments the modern pilgrim, who is generally unaccustomed to being under-stimulated. A thousand thoughts about life’s exigencies bite at the ankles; one is tempted to stop at every roadside cafe offering wi-fi to check in on the outside world. But by about day three, these torments begin to subside as the walk begins to slow the mind to the speed of the body at a pace that is natural and unforced. The walk becomes a long piece of music — andante, of course — that neither lags nor hurries.”
So all of this makes me wonder: how far is the farthest you’ve ever run, or how far is the farthest you can imagine yourself running? (This also goes for walking, if that’s your thing — how far is the farthest you’ve ever walked? I’m into walking long distances too.)
Love to hear your thoughts 😃 — Terrell
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