How to Get in Shape

"...the universal impulse to believe, that is the material circumstance, and is the principal fact in the history of the globe." -- R.W. Emerson, "Experience"

Not belief, but the impulse to believe.

Not our precious and polished knick knacks of thought, cluttering the house of the mind. Not the desire to be happier, faster, fitter. Instead -- the gut that yanks us out, over and against the plans of our better selves.

Not the goals that we have, not the PRs we've run, but the thrill in the neck, the ache in the hamstrings, the sideways glance to hold him off, or to die.

Not the workout on paper, not the feeling of completion. Not the endless entries in the training log. The sand in your shoulders at the end of a race. Not the setting of the alarm clock, not the morning coffee. The weak winter sunrise, the breath in the air, the wet and frozen dew.

Not the training philosophies, not the books and coaches and blogs and message board bull. Not the miles per week, not the workouts. The grind, the fire, the slump, the legs that won't go.

Not the things you tell your friends and your family. Not the things you tell yourself. The things you can't say, the things that can't be said. The things you don't even know you could say. Not the shoes, not the clothes, not the body, not the mind. The beast, the bird, the antelope.

Not the selves we know, not the people we are. The bones, the grit, the dread, the relief.

Not religion, not argument, not logic, not truth. Acid, ache, stomach, heart.

Not belief, but the impulse to believe.


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