Numbers Don’t Lie: The Cold Simplicity of Running

“Ultimately, running appealed to me because its quality cannot be defined in terms of anyone’s use or place in a hierarchy or plan. Perfection is fairly and objectively defined by numbers. There are strict levels of excellence that anyone who chooses can easily recognize and aspire to, with the ultimate being a record. There are rules to the game and the number that one may achieve – whether time taken to run a certain distance, place in a race, or a record – is never open to judgment. Nor can it be snatched away, falsified, or claimed by anyone else. The test is the race, where credentials mean nothing and performances everything”

  • Bernd Heinrich, Why We Run

Bernd Heinrich

As someone who works in a world of smoke and mirrors, where interpretation and obfuscation rule, I find the know-ability of running appealing. * There are no judges to grade your performance. No scorecards and no precedents that need to be honored.

There are numbers.

The number of miles and the time it take the runner to complete them. One’s performance is measured by the clock and the distance. Success and failure are not open to interpretation. One either meets one’s goal, or one doesn’t. You can’t fool anyone, and you can’t be fooled.

Who wouldn’t be drawn to something so simple and so hard?

* For those who don’t know, I’m a lawyer.

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