A homeless guy is sitting on a picnic table at around the 1 mile point of the gumbo loop. He’s watching a group of frisbee golf players as they size up the course. They’re youngish, deadheads had they been born in a different era. He’s old, beaten down from his harsh life.
He surveys them, looks down the green lawn at their target and asks: “You trying to throw those things into that basket?”
“Yup,” dreadlock guy says.
The old guy looks puzzled. “Why?” he asks.
They don’t have an answer.
I think about this a lot for the rest of my run. I’m sticking at 13:00 pace with the theory that my half pace will be a minute and a half faster than that. I’m obsessing over trying to keep my heart rate between 130 and 134 at that pace. I’m trying to keep my strides per minute close to 180 while stretching stride length to .75 or so. Why? WHY?
I’m slow. I’m not going to get much faster. And yet here I am in a yearlong training plan to oblivion. Why? Why do we run?
Beats me. Maybe because I want to see if I can improve. Maybe because in my soul I’m still a runner. Maybe because most of my life savings is tied up in running shoes.
But when I’m out here, I’m me.
I’m not sure why frisbee golfers throw discs at baskets.
But I know why I chase dreams.
Because they’re there.
That’s what runners do.