Running shapes our bodies at every level and time scale: callous, blood, muscle, tendon, skeleton, and genetic expression. Running redefines how we age, increasing muscle and skeleton mass, lengthening telomeres, and rewiring the brain.
Running shapes our minds - it can be transformative and spiritual. Running teaches us to value experiences over things: experiences become memories, things become landfill. Through running, we can know ourselves better.
Recent research has shown running reduces mortality risk an amazing 30% for all causes, and 45% for cardiovascular causes. Studies also show that running slows cognitive decline as we age. Beyond physical health, running provides a refuge, and helps many of us cope with life's challenges: a stressful job, loss of a loved one, overcoming substance abuse or other abuse; the list goes on and on. Running builds a reservoir of strength we can tap when times are hard.
Each day, running transports us to an enchanting place, a better mood. Over time, it strengthens our bodies and the bonds with our pack. Over years, the impossible becomes the accomplished.
Thoreau went to the woods to live deep. Contemporary writers like Murakami run because they want to live life to the fullest. For most of us, running is a better option than the isolation of Walden. Run deep, breathe deep, live deep.
Running is human, has made us human. Running is deep in our DNA. Long before we had serous tools or weapons, we ran our prey into the ground - the persistence hunt. Through a constellation of evolutionary adaptations, humans are uniquely the best distance runners on the planet.
The persistence hunt is our evolutionary niche, our running past. The persistence hunt is more than running; it takes empathy and cooperation. Running connects us to each other. Are events like the Bolder Boulder, the New York Marathon, and the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc the fruits of this co-evolution?Running connects us to the web of life. Our ancestors ran kudus to exhaustion. If kudus had run a bit faster a million years ago, we'd have already seen a sub 2-hour marathon today - or not have ever been.
Running connects us to the earth. It leads us through landscapes, across deserts, mountains, valleys. Just being in a forest improves physical and mental health - this is the Japanese principle of shinrin-yoku - forest bathing.
Running comes to children like laughing and crying - no one has to teach them. Children love running like they love stories; it's in our DNA.
Picasso said: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." We believe the same is true for running. We are born to run, and if possible, we should remain runners when we grow up.
Running is universal, like other evolutionary adaptations such as language, cooking, and art. Running crosses age, gender, cultural, and geographic boundaries.
There are countless stories of runners getting a new lease on life - overcoming depression, addiction, abusive relationships, and illnesses like obesity and cystic fibrosis.
Running gives us lessons for life. Nelson Mandela said he applied the lessons learned running cross country in everything he did.
Running gives us more life - physically, a longer lifespan, and spiritually, by pushing our boundaries and overcoming the limits we set.
Running propels us across landscapes, through time and space, breathing deeply to the rhythm of our own footsteps. Running sheds self-consciousness and brings freedom and flow - full immersion in the moment. Running is life.