“…starts from beneath your feet”.
Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tzu. Ch. 64
One line at a time. One step. More like a journey of 3000 miles, if I ever get there, coast to coast of the USA, running. It’s much shorter a journey to read to chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching where the above quote comes from. One could, in fact, read all of its timeless 81 chapters in half an hour, some chapters only being a sentence long. Yet the profound nature of this collection could require a lifetime to analyze and still fall short, still not connect or understand. This is how I feel about undertaking this ultimate running goal.
I’m going to run across the USA. Yeah, I like the sound of that. I mean, I’ve done multiple 100 mile races before. And I was under a time restraint. What if I had no restraint? Stretch it out, take my time, learn everything. How many months would it take? How long would it take me to even fathom being ready for such an adventure? Sounds great I think. But there is just one problem. I am at ground zero.
I have been injured, I have been angry, I have been depressed, I have been hiding from my life situation in video games and movies, damn good drugs that. I have gained weight. I have been refusing to be an adult, I have been a detached partner, a detached parent, a detached friend. I’ve been questioning all things for far too long and refusing to let things be, let anything other than the mind guide me. My isolation in public display is a chameleon; am I alone? I don’t see it this way, but it often feels that way. And I like being alone plus nothing is more alone than a distance runner.
I ran 4 miles yesterday. That’s my long run. After changing my gait months ago, following a continual years long achilles tendon issue, I have progressed very slowly in mileage. A relearn. Starting from scratch; the beginning. A never ending series of obstacles. I’ve been here before, in life, in running, in relationships. I will keep running. A simple choice right? 4 miles to across the country.
Even when the end goal is nowhere in sight, one cannot see it because ultimately, a journey of a thousand miles begins and ends inside you.