Freedom and belonging

This is and isn’t a repost. The poem will be a repost, but I want to share a bit more of my own story. I am considering a little series on running, passion, pleasure, power, freedom and how it all fits together for me. We all have our constellations of being and by living in them with acceptance is beautiful freedom.

I discovered the joy of running as a young child and it has kind of always stayed with me through the barren years without passion and direction. Somehow the embers of the fire that was lit early in my life stayed aglow. The rediscovery of this passion has been such a joyful journey and it just keeps getting better.

My heart and mind have been healed of so many wounds that the running is now not a running away from pain anymore. There is enough balance and alignment in my being that I can run at pain and through pain and so become stronger and freer in spirit and I carry on, following what is currently like a north star to my being.

First I want to share what I wrote before and soon after completing Snowdonia marathon on 28 October 2017:

Before: I slept a bit. I tossed a lot. I assign these two facts to the effect of the anticipation of the hours of running that await me today. With that: exhiliration, exhaustion, pleasure, pain, the unknown and right now: writer’s block.

After: So far, it has been a beautiful, brutal day. Conversations, observations, thoughts shared, bodies battered, souls nourished, and then there were highlights of connections in a sea of common humanity.

This is one of the things that marathon running is for me: it is like diving in, immersed in the knowledge that I’m one of us and them and somehow, by doing this we can dig in and discover some of what it means to be human and not alone. Here where we do this marathon thing there is no us and them. We all belong to the same tribe.

The run itself I find to be a deeply spiritual experience, potentially. Here we gather, thousands of runners, for a myriad of reasons and we bring our offering. For me, the marathon has an almost magical quality. By going the distance, I rediscover that we are all seperate, but we are all one.

I fight my own battles and think my own thoughts, but by going beyond 35km or so, I know the true value of the run is not in competition with each other. It is in discovering again that I can feel the pain and the joy of another. Another stranger becomes a fellow runner, a beautiful courageous soul who somehow directed their body around 26.2 miles. I can feel the joy and I know this is my tribe, I belong amongst these fellow humans and I can see us more clearly.

We are fragile yet resilient, broken yet beautiful, fearful yet brave and
we can do hard things!

This gives me tremendous hope.

My poem, in memory of Snowdonia marathon 2017

The Zen of the marathon

So I’ve mentioned before
I like to run

especially the marathon

The reason for this
is the pain turned to bliss
when all the seperate parts
become one

Beyond the pain
I find a place
where I know
we are marvellous
the human race.


So now, more than two months down the line I also know that writer’s block has been broken… the words just keep on pouring in and the courage also to let them out, as well as all those words that I’ve been storing up.

Are you a runner? What does it mean to you? What makes you feel connected to yourself, others and the universe? I’d love to hear from you.

If you would like to know more about my journey to freedom and joy and finding my voice, then please follow my blog. Comments are most welcome.

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