Friday, 7 January 2011

When is a Trial a Trial?


It's been 5/6 weeks now since I embarked on 'The Trials of Miles',a phase and idea taken from John L.Parker Jr.s seminal running novel 'Once a Runner'.The original idea was to replicate a sort of life lead by the hero character in the book-Quenton Cassidy,who retreated to a cabin in the woods,to live a hermit type life,training to take on the fictional mile world record holder,John Walton.A sort of revelation hit me today.I have always admired the lifestyles of the soul surfer/climbing fraternity-people who live life gaining intrinsic pleasure from riding new waves/climbing new routes.For these people competing was /is a small part of the actual experience.As the sport of surfing/climbing gradually became commercialized the actual act of obtaining a sponsor was looked upon with derision in some circles,as if the purity of the lifestyle was being eroded.

The word 'Trial' conveys a test,a sense of sacrifice...but is this 'Trial' necessary,especially with the ultimate focus being a race performance.You run the race and achieve the time/position you longed for-what next?You don't achieve your target and are disappointed,making you question why you sacrificed things in the first place.The revelation that hit me today was that maybe I had achieved my target,that starting the 'Trials of Miles' was actually the finish of my real 'Trials of Miles'-a trial I have embarked upon ,not realizing for the past few years.To be in the position I am right now,having all the time in the world to run,is maybe,the ultimate success for me,more important than achieving any race position or personal best time.

In a little over a week I'm heading over to Gran Canaria for six weeks,in the mountains,essentially to run.I'm going to run,not because I feel I need to ,with races coming up etc,but because I want to.A 'Trial' is the wrong word.It will be a 'Pleasure'.

1 comment:

steve said...

People just don't believe when I say I run for fun. Many see it as more of a way to burn off calories, like a punishment for their lifestyle. When running is your lifestyle it no longer seems like labor.

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