Friday, October 03, 2014

I run because I am an artist...

Steve Prefontaine once said, 'Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's a style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative.'

I've dabbled in the arts, but I'd never consider myself an artist. I've done my fair share of writing, but don't consider myself a writer. As far as music goes, a few piano lessons when I was five years old is the extent of my musical career.

The nature of being a small business owner requires no shortage of creativity. The wheels are always turning and I am never at a loss for ideas. That doesn't make me an artist.

But, running can be artistry. Just as an actor rehearses his or her lines in preparation for a performance, I notch miles in preparation to toe the line. Each mile is a recitation of lines. Each run is a dress rehearsal.

The best stories are filled with great characters and no shortage of drama. Such is the case with a great race. Every race provides and opportunity to craft an incredible story.

Every race contains an infinite number of gripping tales. There are those coming back from heartbreaking injuries. Some are cleansing their palate from a disappointing finish from the not so distant past. Others are fighting desperately for a personal best.

There is artistry in executing an excellent race. You train, rehearse, and hope the stars align on the day you need them to. It's similar to being a Broadway performer. You've got one shot at it.

Nailing your pacing is akin to nailing your lines. Making moves and throwing in surges at various stages is not unlike blocking in theater. It can make or break a race. It can enhance the drama or detract from it.

The best races are great works of art. The audience fortunate enough to view a great race is witnessing the culmination of countless miles. Innumerable brushstrokes and dress rehearsals behind the scenes led to this one singular moment. 

I'm fortunate to have numerous masterpieces in my gallery. My first time qualifying for Boston was a drama drenched affair rife with pain, setbacks, and ecstasy at the finish line. More than ten years later I would run Boston and it was an emotional symphony of catharsis.

I likely won't ever ever paint anything that will hang on a gallery wall. Nor will I perform on Broadway. But, that doesn't mean I'm not an artist.

I run because I am an artist...

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