Sunday, March 28, 2010

Going to the Edge...or, the Unknowable

In the spirit of this blog, which purports to be about "the softer side of UltraRunning," I want to repost something I wrote back on 5 Feb 2010.  See here.  It talks to why I'm running 100 miles at Umstead (and finishing sometime thsi morning, if all has gone well)

The North Carolina State Motto is: Esse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem)


This run will be a reality check of what I am, both physically and mentally, rather than what I may seem to be.

I'm not eloquent enough to devise my own quotable quotes. I have to rely on others who have more of a way with words than I do.

Over the years I have collected quotes from various sources dealing with the notion of why we run ultras, and I have been struggling to put my own efforts and motivations into words. I guess for me it boils down to what I feel is a deep-rooted human need--the desire to go to the edge and see what's there. The beauty of this is that you get to define what "the edge" is, and how hard you want to go there.

But nothing is without risk. With that intro, hear what H. L. Menken once wrote:

Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits, nevertheless, calmly licking its chops.

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