Oct 08 2007

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This weekend at the Chicago Marathon 250 runners were treated for heat exhaustion and one runner died. There were many thousands of runners, all running a 26.6 mile race, in excessive heat. Why? Only their psychiatrists and therapists know for sure.

I am not a runner. Never have been. I never craved the endorphine rush running is supposed to give . I never craved the need to push my body to the level of physical pain and death to run anywhere. If I can’t get somewhere by walking, or riding, or flying, I really have no desire to go there. I’m not sure why anyone would? Maybe their is something primal about running with a herd? Maybe all runners are reincarnated antelope, or buffalo or cows or elephants or some other herding animal? Maybe they are reincarnated fish who need to run in schools? Maybe all of these mammals,and fish have reincarnated into humans and are evolving their higher intelligence, and feel the instinctual need to run with a herd or swim in a school ?

As an example of mindless herd runners, we should look carefully at members of political parties. Anyone who identifies with a political party, and supports the herd’s choice for their leader, needs the herd mentality because they can not think for themselves. Thinking for oneself is a painful process many people try to avoid. Thinking about politics with a group of like minded thinkers is fun and immediately gratifying. Perhaps that is why they are called polititcal parties? In these parties, everyone strives to move in the same direction and choose leaders who soothe their feathers, pat their heads or shake their hands. These party leaders promise to bring the herd to better watering holes or greener pastures. Political debates and primaries are the human way for herd leaders to fight for leadership. Political primaries and rituals, are as primal as any primitive tribal dance, or instinctual characteristics of herding groups of animals.

It’s easy to visual G.W Bush as a mangy,sqrawny,silly looking,wolf or hyiena, huffing and puffing his way in a pack, or as a chimpanze screaming threats to a group of chimpanzes, or as a snarling baboon, proudly displaying his bald, red, ass, as he challenges and threatens other baboons. It’s easy to visualize Hillary Clinton at the front of a herd of milking cows, with a big bell (Bill) around her neck, leading all the cows from the grazing pasture to the milking barn. It’s very easy to see Rush Limbaugh as a long horn bull rounding up his herd of longhorn steers, into the corral of political conservatism . Church leaders aptly call their congregrations flocks. These sheperds lead there flocks to the sheering or milking barns, or to the stock yards , and eventually to the slaughter house. If I had to be thought of as a leader of some group or political party, I would want to be seen as a wild stallion leading a wild herd of mustangs. These mustangs would be able to run at great speeds with outstanding endurance, and with an indominable, will to be free. The leader’s job would be to inspire the herd, and keep wolves and other predators away .

Running a marathon or leading a herd, are not the smartest things someone can do. Especially if they kill themselves trying. Those who die, or become seriously injured, tryng to prove their strength and endurance look like idiots; who pushed themselves too far, or pushed someone else too far. Runners like these should never be in races to begin with. They take the fun out it for everyone. Marathon winners are unique individuals. The last thing they want is to lead a herd, they simply want to win the race. This is what they do best. This is what they need to do. People die in marathon races all the time. They also fall down from exhaustion and suffer injuries. Only the very best trained runners win, or even finish marathons. I could never be a marathon runner, I see myself more as a marathon walker. I am committed to walking , but not to running. I am committed to seeking a certain level of endurance, but not to exceed it beyond enjoyment. I am committed to living through, and enjoying my marathon walk, without injury, or sudden death. My marathon walk is my life, it’s difficult enough as a single challenge, yet I believe it should not be so difficult ; that I must give it up. If I am ever forced to stop , I will gladly rest before I reach total exhaustion. I would then consider the remainder of my walk, and either change it’s pace, or alter my planned destination for one more easily accessable. I always strive to seek common sense. I don’t want to suffer a heart attack, or a crippling injury, to try and prove something to myself or anyone else. I know what I want to achieve. I know when I’m pushing myself to hard to get it. I know when I need to slow down, and when I need to stop.


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