Friday, November 8, 2013

More "Thinking Thoughts"...and Ultrarunning

On Wed this week I posted this, in part:

The other day while I was driving and listening to National Public Radio. The host was interviewing a guest--I believe his name was Robert McFarlane, or something close to that, whose passion was walking--who offered the following gem of an observation:

There are some thoughts that can only be had while on foot.

Well, I have a corollary, occasioned by me running in the rain yesterday.  Oh, and it was deliberate; the bride was off to do some volunteer work at Mister Tristan's (the 5-year old human being, not the blog) school, so I had her drop me off for a one-way run home...in the rain.

Which leads to this:

There are some thoughts that can only be had while in the rain.


And I mean actually IN the rain: no ponchos, no umbrellas, just you in the rain.  And to be inclusive, I did not stipulate that one had to be running, just to be out in the rain.  Although in my case, the running is implied. 

See, when you run, you generate plenty of heat such that getting wet per se is usually no biggie.  Of course you must wear the proper clothing, to include synthetic "technical" shirts and shorts/tights (no cotton!) that keeps you warm even when it is wet. 

The payoff is this: we spend a lot of time trying to stay dry, such that few people actually have the experience of being wet, outside, on purpose.  It's kinda liberating, actually.

Mental health advocates tell us it's important as we age to exercise our brains.  This could include such techniques as putting on your pants or socks wrong-leg first, eating lefthanded if you are righthanded, doing puzzles and games, etc.  In short, doing things that may create or foster new neural pathways in your brain's wiring is thought to be beneficial in warding off decline of your mental faculties.

Thus running in the rain can have major mental health consequences...at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

My brainchild during yesterday's rainy run was to mentally work out the details of the treehouse I am planning for Mister Tristan.  Once I get the rest of my leaves gathered I expect to have a couple weeks of dead time outside during which I can get at least the framing done.

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