One of the elements which endear me to the sport of running is the unavoidable circumstance of discomfort every runner will face in competition. This is true for those competing over 400 meters all the way to contests of 100 miles and beyond. 

This is precisely what makes footraces so compelling — there are two layers of competition.

There is the race without, against others and (more importantly) the contest within.

The measure of one's ability to tolerate and endure difficulty is what matters most in the game of life. Running provides a crucible to refine this faculty.

Thankfully our temperament can impact this skill. We are free to pick our mood. And our chosen posture influences our process and the result.

Few have articulated this better than Robert Pirsig in the classic book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance —

"I argued that physical discomfort is important only when the mood is wrong. Then you fasten on to whatever thing is uncomfortable and call that the cause. But if the mood is right, then physical discomfort doesn't mean much."


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus