'The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking'
Not too long ago, I stumbled across this quotation by Mark Twain, from a book of travel stories he published in 1880, called A Tramp Abroad. In it, Twain’s stories depict the travels he and a fictionalized version of his real-life best friend, on their journey through parts of Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy.
Their aim is to walk the entire route they take across the continent; that doesn’t always work out. That’s okay, though, as the adventures are (of course) amazing. What I love especially, however, is this observation Twain shares, about traveling with a companion:
“Now, the true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. It is no matter whether one talks wisdom or nonsense, the case is the same, the bulk of the enjoyment lies in the wagging of the gladsome jaw and the flapping of the sympathetic ear.”
I think this is what I’ve enjoyed the most about writing and running with you all this year — the conversations we have, the things we share in our weekly chats, and the things I learn from you. Yes, I write the newsletter each week, but you all make it what it is, a true community of runners that now reaches all across the U.S. and into dozens of countries.
Thanks so much for being here. Writing The Half Marathoner has been the best part of my life as a writer, and I’m so glad you’re on this journey too. (Also, we get to share a passion that’s good for us and helps us feel better — as my mother told me recently, “your health is your wealth.”)
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and if you’re not in the U.S., that you enjoy a restful rest of your week — as always, keep in touch and let me know how your running/life is going.