Those Rare Moments of Effortless Joy

Do you know the feeling I know? When your legs have disappeared, and there is only your heart, your lungs, and your eyes skimming disembodied through the air? We are Aristotle’s featherless bipeds, we runners. Though we have no wings, we have taught ourselves to fly.

This was me last night on my run. In fact, it’s been me all week. For the first time in a long, long time, this week, running has felt effortless and free. It has felt like I could go all night.

I think all runners have had this feeling — and we all know how fleeting it can be. I have spent days, weeks, months, slogging it out, getting in the miles because that is what I do; I run. But then, out of nowhere, after a cold, long winter of running the Prospect Park loop in the dark, in gloves and a hat and tights under tights. After a terrible marathon performance, and after hundreds of miles that sometimes seem like a waste of time, all the effort pays off in a perfect, effortless seven miles on a perfect summer evening.  It feels so good, and it is so fleeting, it seems worth noting.

I have no idea when the feeling will come again.


About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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