Last Saturday I ran the Marine Corp 17.75k. It was my thirty-first race, and it was eleven miles long. Eleven miles through the woods. God, gorgeous. I finished it in just a breath under ninety minutes. I was the 185th of 2,830 runners to cross the finish line. It was extremely hard and a lot of fun, and I'm glad I did it.
I cannot think of one worthwhile thing to say about it.
I am growing tired of myself. I'm growing tired of this desperation I have always had to capture with words the entirety of my experiences, as though in doing so I could somehow arrest or transcend the temporal passing of life. I grope to grasp the nature of life, equipped as I am with shabby tools. I write at the blog, I collect photos and videos of races and I try to cement moments of runs and hikes. I pour over all of it later, and I find it flat and dull. All of this evidence I collect of my experiences communicates nothing of their urgency. I show you a photo or an immediately transcribed memory, and I try to say, look, see? I did this! I felt this! I was alive for these moments! I was here, and I was grateful to be here, and it meant the world to me! Nothing I say, nothing I can show you, communicates a fiber of how I felt.
There is much of value in running long distances, but it can't be contained in words. In fact, the imperative of each passing mile is so immediate that trying to speak or write about it demonstrates the vulgarity of language itself. Language is unfit to reflect the bliss and agony of a fully felt run. Of a fully felt life. Language and memory are fraudulent.
If there is real transcendence to be had in this physical plane, it is in physical experience. Never let anyone tell you that your physical self, your physical body, doesn't matter. Your body is your vehicle and your medium. Cherish it, use it. Pull everything toward you and suck it up.