I have started, abandoned, restarted and abandoned again the idea of writing about fitness in a semi-regular way. I have begun and then ditched three blogs on the subject. All through that time I have run a marathon, done a triathlon, become enamored with crossfit, stopped going to crossfit, gone back to crossfit, and now, gotten back into running in a serious way. I have for too long treated fitness like I treat too many things in my life – as an activity I quickly pick up, obsess over, and then drop. I am going to change that. I am going to try to gain some expertise in the simple act of running far and fast, and I am going to use this space to do it.
My girlfriend E and I have done a lot of talking about the dilettante versus the expert. There is a certain appeal in being a dilettante and doing things in a half assed way. Being a dilettante is fun and it makes life interesting. Curiosity is wonderful. It is ok to not take something seriously. For example, I was interested in avant garde cinema there for a while. I read some books, I watched some movies. It was fun, no one is going to confuse me with Jonas Mekas, but that’s fine. I wasn’t invested; I was playing at the margins. I don’t want to play at the margins of running anymore.
There is something to be said for the expert as well, something about getting inside the thing and attempting to know it or do it well. But that comes with risks. You might not be up to the challenge. You can put thousands of hours into it and still not be good enough to be the best. But the long hours and the depth of understanding have their own reward. Law school has taught me that. It isn’t enough in my field to understand the outlines of a transaction; you have to know its anatomy in detail. You have to spend the time.
I have, for most of my life poked around at the edges of things and not jumped in. Now, I am jumping all the way in to this thing. This blog is about being very good running. Not just the casual runner, but the good runner. The better than average runner. I know it will take me a long time to go from the casual ten miles a week runner to a runner with some prowess in the sport, but I am willing to put in the time.
This is about taking the risk of taking it seriously.
The way I envision this now, it will incorporate three things. (1) Standard training posts full of data on my progress and musings on my progress. (2) Larger think posts about the nature of expertise. And (3) journalistic type pieces about aspects of running and sport that I find interesting. I am doing this blog for myself, to have a place to hold myself accountable and to write about the things that interest me, but I hope it is at least somewhat interesting to people out there who might come across this.
Stick around, let me know what you think. This should be fun, and hopefully we’ll get fast.