the other day a friend asked me why I decided to run ultras. she then asked why I chose to continue running ultra distances while pregnant.
I wanted to pull a Louise and say: “isn’t it obvious?” 🕷 the meaning of this practice is obviated by the joy I find in it, there IS a reason why I took up the mantle of ultra endurance mountain movement.
you’ll not find me boasting time, distance, or comparative achievement though I may go fast, far, and into the unknown. races and competition in general turn me off; they are farcical reasons to do the sacred movement ultimately distracting the mover from the medium. for me, this practice will never be complete; there will never be a medal, record, or win upon which to rest and allow my running legs to languish.
my running practice is more akin to my writing practice than it is to my other athletic pursuits. my athleticism is more an art than a sport.
I can remember being a young, committed ballerina. it irked me when anyone would refer to dance as a ‘sport’. it is not a sport because competition and achievement are irrelevant; performance in ballet, as in mountain movement, are solely momentary pursuits. their beauty exists only in the moment each movement is executed.
so, logically, I cannot answer the question to satisfaction but that is the point. a painter has no reason to lay color on canvas, a metalsmith as no reason to hammer, a writer has no aim when her pen touches paper, a spirit-bodied mountain runner seeks no outcome in her ambulations - she moves for the pure enjoyment of moving.