Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

            Our society is inundated with waves of endless repertory concerning the philosophical leanings of the individual.  This takes the form of political tangents in that the individual is constantly being recruited to be on the right or the left of our political landscape.  We hear this from the radio talk shows; the TV talk shows; articles in the newspapers, magazines, on the internet.  It is even subtlety interwoven in movies and TV shows.  We hear the topic in conversation at the workplace.  We hear it at sporting events.  It is everywhere.  If you aren’t aware of this, you aren’t aware…or…

            Enter the runner.  Enter this individual who puts constant forward locomotion in a priority position in his or her lifestyle.  Enter this person who is concerned with basic principles of life that will help his or her running, and, in turn, the running will help the quality of life of the individual.

            A broad, sweeping picture of the runner will include a concern of one’s health.  It will include a concern for the environment.  Seeing a need for discipline in our society will be a real factor for the survival of the desired society.  Education at various levels will be of prime importance.  Patriotism at ebbing levels of intensity will be a basic characteristic.  Freedom will be a basic right, and this freedom will invade all areas of the chosen lifestyle.  Integrity will be bonding cement holding the individual to a high standard.  Courage to be true to his or her beliefs, culture, religion, or lack of religion will be a basic aspect of philosophy.  All this blends to make the runner happy in his or her lifestyle.  Happiness is recognized as a pursuit of life.

            All these strokes in the runner’s picture will be glazed with the approach to the running.  It will affect all the aforementioned items.  Some will be affected in a highly obvious manner; some will be very subtle.  But, all will be very real.

            A clear example would be in the runner’s training method for racing.  The runner has quickly learned that the racing returns will equal the level of training.  There is no way around it.  It is education, discipline, and integrity all wrapped up in one pursuit…that of training to race better.  If the runner slacks off, the racing improvement will be less or non-existent.

            Operating in a systemic fashion has made it possible to evolve into the present human animal.  Our being depends on how well our systems work.  Our systems, such as the circulatory and respiratory, make our life with its movement possible.  All our systems are integrated to give us a certain quality of life.  Indeed, the better the systems, the higher the quality of life.  A true runner recognizes this as basic to happiness.

            So, how does the runner assimilate the barrage of philosophical and political information coming his way?  What does the runner think about the threat of terrorism to our nation?  Do the impending health care parameters set by the federal government interfere with the runner’s idea of freedom?  Is the whole idea of health care in opposition to self-discipline?  Where does the level of responsibility lie for care of the environment?  Are our economic woes wrapped up in the lack of integrity on governmental and corporate levels?  Is it integrated with the individual?  Do we have a problem in this country with the lack of morals?  Is political correctness a plague?  Is our educational system suffering because of non-teachers setting the parameters of success?

            The runners may or may not think of these questions.  Like any other citizen, it will depend upon his or her level of involvement and awareness.  A particular runner may be a non-political person.  But, some of the questions will infiltrate into the lifestyle of any runner.  Then, the runner’s thinking must gel into an identifiable philosophy in that particular area.  That runner will be influenced by his or her running at that point.  I find it true, as others have, that our running is influenced by everything we do and think…and, everything we do and think is influenced by our running.  It is a case of “If A equals B, then B must equal A.”

            I know and talk to some running friends and acquaintances and find that they are fairly common and consistent in their basic philosophy concerning the previous questions.  There is room for differences which is refreshing and logical in that we are dealing with free thinking humans.  But, my sample is a very small portion of the running population.  I wonder what a larger portion would think about these things.

            Ask yourself how you feel about the questions.  What is your basic philosophy in dealing with society’s questions?  Then, dig deeper into your mind and investigate how your running influences your answers…and vice versa.  I’ve done this and have come up with different answers at different times in various situations.  Why?  I’m still trying to figure that one out.

            Let me know – if you will – what you find out in your personal investigation.  It may be interesting for you, as it was for me, to discover the connection between your running and your beliefs, attitudes, and philosophy be it in the personal or political arena.  And, if you are a young runner and all the questions may not apply to you at present, then think about those that do apply.  But, know this, you are on your way to formulating your philosophy concerning all the ideas.  Think about how you, as a running human, will be affected by your running.  It will be interesting.

            You can let me know any results of your thinking by leaving a comment.

All men by nature desire to know.”


 Richard Westbrook