Friday, October 10, 2008

The Edge of Reason

My wife keeps asking me why I feel the need for endurance sports in general and this marathon in particular. I usually just smile. I know she will roll her eyes if I just say platitudes about going beyond my limits. The thing is, this is exactly how I feel. I live in a world where everything is defined and standardized. Everything has been decided for us. You drink in a cup. You pee in a toilet. When you see some kids protesting against '(put a popular cause here like globalization, AIDS or Afghanistan)', you smile because you understand how society actually taught them what are the cool things to rebel against.

To me, endurance racing represents the ultimate rebellion. It is not only physical, by doing something that some people say is "un-natural", but ultimately mental. Running a marathon or other long distance event says: "I do what I want". Racing it hard says "Fuck you", because ultimately there's no reason to race hard. You just chose to and nobody can do anything about it. They ask you why and the only thing you can do is smile ("Fuck you. I do what I want. I know it makes you uncomfortable, but tough.").

Endurance racing allows you to experience the edge of reason. You get to the point where your brain betrays you and actively tries to convince you to stop using completely logical arguments. The only thing that keeps you going is the belief that you should. That's what brings tears to my eyes when I see the later stage of an endurance race. You see all those faces, looking ahead but not seeing, lost into an inner battle, fighting with part of themselves to keep going against all logic. 

So my marathon is coming and I will be tested like I've never been tested before. I will hopefully reach the edge of reason and run outside of logic.

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