“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” -Tao De Ching
Why devote time to something as seemingly inconsequential and unneeded as running mountains? Why put more than a few thirty minute sessions in on the roads or around tracks at the school onto the calender?
Better yet, why not just drive?
As dependence on technology and societal direction dictate a more static and sedentary existence, I think the answer to ‘why’ becomes blatantly clear. To remain connected to the direct feeling of movement in it’s bare form, the act of putting one foot in front of the other where there is no abstraction in the result. Either you go forward, or you don’t. Either you get to the summit, or you don’t. Either you keep going, or you don’t. It’s a core truth of life, undiluted.
There’s been a lot of philosophy aimed at this disconnection, Marx’s work has been jumping out to me the most as of late as to why satisfaction can be hard to find in our system.
Marx’s ‘Theory of Alienation’ echoes this point
1.Alienation of the worker from the work — from the product of his labour
2.Alienation of the worker from working — from the act of producing
3.Alienation of the worker from himself, as a producer — from his Gattungswesen (species-essence)
As time flows, our production and consumption, especially in the western model, becoming increasingly less tangible. We don’t hold our goods, our goods are bought via a disconnected income from the product, our work is electronic and in the aether, the mind/consciousness, not in the brick and mortar, or better yet, the stone and stick.
Running, or really any physical pursuit, from yoga to climbing, brings us back to the art of action, the creativity of our own movement through space, time, and life.
Sure, running up mountains may not be the path to a huge monetary gain, but on a core human level, I think it is a way, along with many others, to something that is far more valuable than our abstract idea of currency. Living simply affords the opportunity to get the things you want by equally simple means, and wealth is merely desire over fulfillment. Therefore, if I desire to fill my time with friends, travel, and some of the most beautiful aesthetics, and I’m able, then I feel as rich as they come. Will I live in this way forever, no, becuase my life, like everything in nature, isn’t static. But for now I’m loving it and I feel immensily liberated and fullfulled. I’m alive after all and enjoying my movement, my physical self and the world around me , is one of the largest gifts I have, and that to me, is undeniably worth it.
Some good Tunes