Running for Your Life: Embracing Slowness

It’s inevitable. As you age, you simply don’t move as fast as you did your prime. And that’s a good thing. Consider it your body’s way of keeping you active and avoiding injury.

I’ve written here before about the fuzzy term of listening to your body. Just exactly how do you do that?

In my case it has come about through a routine that hasn’t varied since the middle ’70s. In the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s I ran every other day at an eight-minute mile pace, and in the Zeroes every other day at 8:30 and in the past five years, closer to 8:45.

Slowness, of course, isn’t limited to road work. These days I try to give myself more time to get to work, or to prepare a meal, get to a movie or a play. And this winter slowness has been a natural response to all the ice and snow we’ve had.

In a car, we slow to the condition of the road, walking the dog in the park, we slow as we climb slick banks and negotiate black ice pavement. Why? Because falling isn’t an option. Our bodies are so much slower to heal with age.

Do you equate slowness with boredom? Protect the body through exercise and eating and drinking responsibly (cutting down on booze at night), and you’ll sleep more soundly, and most important, protect the mind. We are slower, but critically, we don’t, if our mind is sharpened by embracing the idea of slow motion, feel slower.

That’s the beauty of being a human. Mind over matter. We can literally convince ourselves that we are only as young as we feel. As  the old man runner (see image at right) of my blog so enthusiastically declares: Reverse Age That Body.

Next: Running for Your Life: Live at The Jazz Palace  

Running for Your Life: If-The-Greats-Were-With-Us Thursday

Here's today's quote in the popular feature that is sweeping the digital nation .... With special thanks to my creative friend and wordsmith, Kirk Nicewonger.

"What doesn't kill you will come back to finish the job."
                                                                           – Friedrich Nietzsche

Running for Your Life: Deserters 2015

Great piece in New York magazine this week by Wil S. Hylton that goes to surprising lengths to put a human face on deserter culture, coming on the forty-first anniversary of “The Burglary” (see prior post, four back), in which a group of brave citizens stole FBI documents and changed the course of American democracy -- if not forever, at least until the Internet infected our brains and impeded our moral imperatives -- believing in the just fight against a fraudulently promoted war in Vietnam that sent a generation of ordinary American young men and women to slaughter. 

In this case, US deserters who have sought refuge in Canada are now subject to deportation and prison for their crime. Not so much the desertion itself, but the fact that in Canada they have become public figures, of sorts. They speak out, not as I understand it, in any way that exposes classified information about their wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. But rather just because they have acted, as the Media, Pa., group in 1971 did, like citizens. In so doing, they have been a profound embarrassment to Imperial America. (Thank God, the Media burglars were never found.)

When it comes to objections of conscience, who are the worst offenders? The deserters or the pursuers? Read the article and decide for yourself.

Next: Running for Your Life: Discovery of Slowness

Running for Your Life: Who, What, Where and WiFi

If I were to teach a course today in journalism this is what I would call it. There was a time when a version of this phrase – in its pre-Internet form – said it all when it came to news. It amounted to rank order topics of interest: The Who, What, Where, and Whys of my day – the 1970s – actually constituted a primer for how to be an informed and responsible citizen.

The “Why” kicker always coming back to the core. Why do we care about the topic? Hopefully that answer reflected on what you intend to expose to make the world around you a better place. To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Who, What, Where were the preamble; Why, the essence of the citizen constitution.

Now, though, in our ironically “connected” world, that pre-Internet “Why” has been replaced by WiFi. A story isn’t a story unless it has an extra life in social media. Reporters don’t have a platform to say anything unless they have a gazillion “followers.”

Take the New York Times Magazine makeover. Why do the editors choose to allow a comic-writer clown of a Russian American, Gary Shteyngart, to write his impressions after bingeing on Putin-era TV? Because he is getting to “Why?” No. Because he has a gazillion followers. And those followers will bring the new nyt magazine to the conversation: Hastag nyt. Relevance? Not in the noble tradition of Who, What, Where and Why but the ignoble one of Who, What, Where and WiFi.

When it comes to Who, What, Where and WiFi, journalists aggregate followers first and then the news. Actually report the news, bring a critical vision to public affairs? That’s not a journalism class; it’s a history class.

Next: Running for Your Life: Draft dodging in Canada, circa 2015

Running for Your Life: If-the-Greats-Were-With-Us Thursday

Consider this a regular feature, right here at Running for Your Life!

Today's If-the-Greats-Were-With-Us Thursday quote:

“When it comes to smartphones, I prefer to be ignorant.”
                                                                              – Sam Beckett