No, no, don’t get me wrong, we did not suddenly turn to violence here at 5 AM Runner, no way! But I have always found it somewhat fascinating to be able to come in contact with something or someone famous, to visit a place rich in history, to stand in the very spot where a magnificent historic event took place… There is just something about those places, some energy that’s difficult to describe or explain, as if taking a first-hand journey to the world’s most indigenous and powerful sites.
Being a creature of habit, I rarely set my foot outside the comfortable zone of the familiar routes. Yes, on occasion, when I experience a sudden explosion in the energy levels, I dart in and out of some unfamiliar spots here and there, dancing and going crazy, but those moments are basically few and in between, hardly anything to be considered serious. For the most part, any kind of significant traveling in space and time normally only happens in my imagination, as I try to remain pre-occupied and motivated, thus placing myself in some imaginary circumstances, which are basically borderline schizo-hallucinations…
But I will tell you honestly – I have always wondered what it would be like to take my personal spiritual excursions (which is what running has always meant to me) and really transport them to some incredible and powerful spots on earth, thus combining my own experiences with those of the historical places, where that energy and feeling would be magnified a thousand fold.
Right off the top of my head I can think of about 10 such places, but who am I kidding – only a few truly stand out. Care to take a peak with me?
Grand Canyon – can you only imagine standing on the edge of this incredible natural creation first thing in the morning, the sun is just coming up, the air is crisp and thin, the energy and the power of the place simply filling up and overwhelming everything and everyone in sight. I will confess – I’ve never visited the Grand Canyon, but what I would give to just once experience a run around the border of the entire place…. Just taking in every bit of the energy surrounding it, no iPod required, simply enjoying the natural sounds and the atmosphere that is unique and unparalleled…
The Great Wall of China – perhaps the most powerful of the Seven Wonders of the World and a man-made object visible from space – you know this one is sure to make it to the top of my list. Well, I don’t know if you can actually see it from space, I never tried, but no one will question the unique and mystical experience that the Great Wall truly is. And it should be noted that I am definitely not the first runner who has toyed around with an idea of “running on the wall” – well, figuratively speaking. The Great Wall Marathon is one of the most prestigious and sought-out yearly events, attracting running enthusiasts from all walks of life.
But I am not talking about that.
To me, it’s not about the competition; it’s not about completing a certain distance within a certain time. It is all about slowing down and taking in the experience, it’s about breathing in the thousands of years of history that permeate every inch of the place. It is about relaxing and enjoying yourself; in some way becoming a part of that history, becoming a part of that surreal environment and grasping the essence of the energy that is in fact more inspiring than any physical exercise could ever be.
Well, for the sake of brevity I will end my imaginary travels for the time being. As you probably figured out by now, I could go on and on about another 100 such places, hoping to one day actually step my foot there and have the real-life experience of which I write… I hope and I strive, and until that day comes, I will simply continue traversing the night streets of Langhorne – all I can do is
Keep it running!