By Dan Wilcock
Running is UP, with intentional uppercase–both the opposite of DOWN and its antidote. It’s an energy amplifier that feeds most properly on energy. It’s an awakening for the cells–a form of mild creative destruction for muscles, blood and brain.
I recently tried running with some down elements, specifically “downtempo” music (i.e Massive Attack, which I love in other moments). ‘Twas like a wet blanket on my run. Led Zeppelin and the Beastie Boys are more in the spirit of running’s UP. Just a few tracks from Houses of the Holy and Hello Nasty make me “run the marathon to the very last mile.”
Coffee and tea fuel running’s UP. Alcohol, in moderation, is the preserve of the day’s-end wind down.
The wind down and DOWN are equally essential. Yin rests within and without yang and vice versa. DOWN has a different role, without which we couldn’t live. UP all the time = insomnia and frayed nerves.
To keep each day’s wind up and wind down in balance, for me running UP is best done when I get up. Ordinarily getting up at 5:30 would make me tired, but running’s energy boost balances out the few minutes of lost sleep.
It’s not surprising that Bob Marley, who rose from rural poverty to become a global messenger for peace, love and unity, was an avid runner. He also loved soccer, which is mostly running. He sang Get Up Stand Up about overthrowing oppression. He was UP until cancer brought him down.
All of us eventually go down, as the leaves on trees. But running is a way to celebrate and intensify the UP within.