Opinion: Running to run down

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We run to the post office. We run to the store. We run to the school to pick-up one offspring or another. We run, run, run. Hoosier colloquialisms of “running” hither and yon aside, many of us run in honest-to-goodness foot races. We run marathons (all 26 miles 385 yards). We run half-marathons. We run 10ks. We run 5ks. We run on the street and have even gone so far as to create treadmills so that we can run endless miles! The point is, one could surmise, that we run A LOT.

But where does all of this running take us? Do we have an objective? Are we running toward something new and positive? Are we running away from something frightening and shunned? Or, are we simply continuing to run because we don’t really know how to stop?

The treadmill where I have been known to log a mile or two includes a small digital screen that generates imagined hills that the user is encouraged to surmount. They are designed to push a reluctant athlete to burn a calorie or two more. If burning calories is the goal, it works. But if we aren’t really going anywhere anyway, what’s the point of breaking a sweat?

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not of fighting the old, but on building the new.” He has a point. We cannot run enough miles to escape our past. It exists and is permanent. However, we have enormous control over our forthcoming present – said another way, the direction and speed in which we shall run in the future. So, is all of our running getting us anywhere? Or at the end-of-the-day, will we be in the same place only feeling a bit more run down?

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