Arguing With Oneself: A Runner’s Companion

Have you seen the film “All of Me”?  With Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin?  I haven’t, but I believe Lily Tomlin’s soul (?) somehow enters Steve Martin’s body and she is able to control the right (or is it left?) side of his body.

That’s how I feel when I’m running.

My upper half is pumped up, ready to run.  Feeling strong.  But as soon as I start running, my lower half seems to have a mind of its own – which is strange, since my mind is contained in my head, which, from what I learned in school is located in the upper half of my body.

My legs drag, almost tripping, moving without any kind of coordination.  If they had a personality, they would be Jerry Lewis’s original persona in “The Nutty Professor”.  A more contemporary example would be…oh poop, I’m not very contemporary…let’s just say anyone clumsy and inept.

So my upper mind starts lecturing the lower one:

Upper Half (UH): Focus!  What are you doing?  Are your shoes even on the right feet!?
Lower Half (LH): Dum de dum de dum…look at the ocean!  Is that a sea lion?
UH: Seriously?  You don’t even have eyes!
LH: I don’t need eyes to see.
UH: So now you’re a Jedi warrior?
LH: Maybe.  Dum de dum…You’re too serious.
UH: I am?
LH: I just want to be strong enough so that I can carry you when you get old.  Uh, older.  You’re too worried about how you look when you run.
UH: Oh.  You’re right.  Sorry I yelled at you.
LH: That’s okay.  I wasn’t really listening anyways.
UH:  You’re smarter than I thought you were.
LH: I know.

The conversation always starts off the same way, and about a mile or so in, they come to some understanding and I begin to run in peace.  I hope that someday the arguing will cease and that peace will be the first feeling that starts off every run.


I'd love to hear from you. I don't bite. It's more like a gentle gnawing on your ankle.

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