Run-of-mine adj : 1: UNGRADED, UNSORTED, CRUDE, UNREFINED: not ground or treated 2: ORDINARY, MEDIOCRE, RUN-OF-THE-MILL <run-of-mine college graduate> 3. Ore or coal as it comes from the mine without grading or sorting for size or quality

4. That last run, the one that keeps you going back for more – it’s yours and yours alone.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mantras, or "Cowboy up!"

I’ve been reading on several blogs lately about the importance of mantras.  A really good read at Rock Creek Runner [and the free ebook is worth a read fo’ shizzle – more on that later], and also a nice entry over at Miss Zippy’s place.  As I’m training for my first half marathon, I’m thinking that maybe I ought to get me one of them things, these mantras.

I downloaded the ebook from Rock Creek Runner, which is a collection of short essays by runners about their mantras.  Really, really interesting stuff, and very divergent.  My favorite was from Susan Lacke:  “Man the F&*$ up.”  It made me think about an old club soccer coach of mine, who, among other memorable lines, would often cajole us with, “Aw, c’mon, ladies.  Cowboy up and get it done!”  Not the most P.C. man who ever picked up a clipboard, but effective.  He’s also the one who regularly trotted out this gem: “If you ladies” (do you see a theme emerging here?) “are done playing grab ass over there, come back and join us.”

I digress.  I think that I was typing about mantras.  Although “Cowboy up!” seems solid, I do live in Minnesota, and there just ain’t that many cowboys here, pardner.   Of course, being the mediocre but enthusiastic runner that I am, maybe I should just stick with “Cripes!  How much farther is this path, anyway?”  That’s a good one – seems to pop up on a semi-regular basis.

On a run last week, through, I was thinking about the ubiquitous book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  Let me just go out on a cyber-limb here and give it a thumbs-up - along with pretty much every other running blogger on the face of the earth.  Try this – go to a random running blog, type “Born to Run” in the search box, and see if you don’t get a hit.  Go on – try it. I’ll be here when you get back.

Anyhoo – one of the sections from Born to Run kept coming into my mind as I was running.  It’s found on page 111, and it’s from “Caballo Blanco” – the main “character” (and I use that term literally) in the book:

 “Think Easy, Light, Smooth and Fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a shit how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced that for so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one — you get those three, and you’ll be fast.”

Love that – “Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast.”  It works, I think , on several levels, and for pretty much any type, style, ability, and pace.  I’ve been working on the “light” aspect as of late – which for me right now means trying to make my footfalls as close to silent as I can.  Full-on ninja mode (or as close as a 40-year-old 195½ pound white guy can get to ninja mode).

I’ll keep you posted as to whether I make it to “Smooth” and “Fast.” 

Any great mantras out there that you’d care to share?

No comments:

Post a Comment