Enough, Bill McKibben Chapter 1 (1).pdf - CHAPTER ONE Too Much still fresh enough to or the first few miles of the marathon I was the muffed look around

Enough, Bill McKibben Chapter 1 (1).pdf - CHAPTER ONE Too...

This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 19 pages.

Image of page 1
CHAPTER ONE Too Much F or the first few miles of the marathon' I was still fresh enough to look around, to pay attention' I remember mostly the muffed thump of several ihorru,d pairs of expensive sneakers padding the Ottawa pavement-an elemental sound' like surf' or wind' But as the race-wore on, the herd stretched into a dozen flocks and then into a long string of solitary runners' Pretty soon each of us was off in a singular race, pitting one body against one will' By the halfway foint, #h"r, all the adrenaline had worn off' the only sound left was my breath rattling in my chest' I was deep in my own private uni- verse, completely absorbed in my own drama' Now, this run was entirely inconsequential' For months I'd hained with the arbitrary goal of 3 hours and 20 minutes in my mind. Which is not u fu,t ti*"; it's an hour and a quarter off the world record. But it would let a forty-one-year-old into the Boston Marathon. And given how fast I'd gone in training' I knew it lay at the outer edge of the possible' So it was a worthwhile target' a number AI
Image of page 2
2 llILL Mr;KlllBEN to live with tlrrrrrr{lr ()n(.crrrly-r}rorning run after another, a number to rrrrltiply rrrrrl rlivirk'irgidns[ the readouts on the treadmill display wlrcrr rkru,rrporrr-s lir.pt rnc in the grrn. It's rare enough in my life to Irirvr, rr tlolrl so ('()u(:r()t(' rurcl unambiguous. Ilv ;rlrorrl. srry. rnilo 2il, two things were becoming clear. One, my Ilrrirrirr{ lrrul rlarl<rrl: I'd reeled of{ one 7:30 mile after another. Two, rrr,y lnrirrirrg worrlrln't get rne to the finish by itself. My legs were sllrll irrg lo skrw and wobble, my knees trnd calves were hard pressed lo lili rrrrtl push at the same pace as an hour earlier. I could feel my uorrl slipping away, my pace dropping. With every hundred yards the riut lrr:c:ule less a physical test and rnore a mental one, game spirit tr-ying to rally sagging flesh before sagging flesh could sap game spirit anrl convince it the time had come to walk. Someone stronger passecl me, and I slipped onto her heels for a few hundred crucial yartls, picking up the pace. The finish line swam into my squinted view, trnd I stagger-sprinted across. With 14 seconds to spare. A photographer clicked a picture, as he would of everyone who firrished. I was a cip]rer to him-a grimacing cipher, the 324th per- son to cross, an unimportant finisher in an unimportant time in an unimportant race. In the picture you can see the crowd at the finish, kxrking right past me toward the rniddle distance, waiting for their rnorn or dad, son or daughter to hove into sight. It mattered not at all what I had done. But it rnattered to me. When it was done, I had a clearer sense of rrryself, of my power and rny frailqu. For a period of hours, and espe- ciafly those last gritty miles, I had been absolutely, utterly present, tlrc rnoments desperately, rnagnificently clarified.
Image of page 3
Image of page 4

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture