Showing posts from February, 2010

Apples and Roots

There's been an interesting thread bumping up and down at letsrun, and here's a quote from one of my favorite posters, malmo. "The entire point of this or any other training thread isn't that you're going to make a donkey into a racehorse. The point is that you need to train that donkey to mimic what a racehorse does to maximize his talent. The point of all athletic training is to exploit YOUR talent to the max, oftentimes well beyond what you ever previously thought was possible. To do that frequently involves convincing the brain to think like an elite, even if you'll never become one. That means crushing pre-conceived boundaries and clearing the brain of the junk that has been fed to them for many years." The brain is the most important running organ. This is a point that is commonly acknowledged. However, most people misunderstand this point because they think that what is meant by it is that running is about mental strength or toughness or getting

Injuries, Organizations, Bodies

What is peculiar to what is initially at hand is that it withdraws, so to speak, in its character of handiness in order to be really handy. --Heidegger (SZ, 69-70) Heidegger is talking here about the way in which really useful things make themselves invisible. When our practices are running well, they flow smoothly along, and we do not notice them at all. The sign of health is a sort of invisibility of the body. And this is one thing that the runner seeks through his practice. The great run is not centered in the body at all, or at least not the body that we normally imagine. The run is not felt in the legs, but in the mind, or--to use a quaint word--the spirit. Running, we say, is flying. Floating on invisible wings. The flip side of this truth is that the unhealthy body makes itself noticed. Heidegger puts it like this: "The more urgently we need what is missing and the more truly it is encountered in its unhandiness, all the more obtrusive does what is at hand become, such th