I was listening to a podcast which I like do in the morning as I get breakfast ready. It was On Being, a great program put out by NPR. The guest on this episode was Gordon Hempton and the title was The Last Quiet Places: Silence and the Presence of Everything. I would encourage everybody to give it a listen!
It got me thinking a lot about silence. One of the things that bears to be said, and Gordon Hempton would echo, is that silence is not the absence of noise but a presence of self in an environment. In running, we have the chance to find this silence. As we run, we can find ourselves fully present in each moment, in each step. Ask marathon runners how they get through the wall, one of the key things (in my experience) is staying present in each moment. Don’t think about the future, don’t think about what you’ve done, but only what you are doing, right now, in each moment.
This is a major piece of the the spirituality of running. Being present and actively listening are extremely important in maintaining a healthy psuche, or inner life. So, maybe take a few minutes, find a quiet place, and just listen. See what you hear and see what you experience. It can be a life changing practice.