Monday, December 12, 2011

Martin Luther...and Ultrarunning

Saved this tidbit from the 10 Nov 2011 edition of The Writer's Almanac.  I'm beating the same drum here as I always do, but you gotta subscribe to their daily emails if you have a curious bone in your body.

This date is the birthday of Martin Luther, of theological fame.  I think of him as a sober, sincere, reverent man.  But evidently he was a hellraiser, who actually wrote about Ultrarunning and post-run refreshment (well, not really, but see BOLD below):

When a friend wrote Luther a letter confessing that he was depressed, Luther had some advice for him: "Be strong and cheerful and cast out these monstrous thoughts. Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: 'Do not drink,' answer him: 'I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.' One must always do what Satan forbids.

In Ultrarunning we find in our play, and in play we find our salvation.


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