While taking what I believe is a well deserved break from running, my mind wonders more than what I'm accustomed to lately. Heck, it's only been a little more than two weeks since I crossed the finish line of my sixth race this year, but it seems longer. Some have asked me what I have planned next. This is a great question but its not (yet) worthy of a response. I'm simply trying to absorb some things from my experiences since January. Six races totaling 412 miles with a total elevation gain of 74,623 feet. To put this in mountain climbing perspective, that’s enough to scale Mt. Everest 2 ½ times.
As I reflect on the last six months, and even the last four years, I discover things that I take for granted now as a runner that I had no knowledge of before I started running ultras. I'm also keenly aware there is so much I still don't know, and may never know, but hope to learn one day. As long as I remain willing.
We live in a saturated society. Information gained with the push of a button. Billions of facts and figures at our fingertips. But are we wiser for it? Are we better because of it? Most of us seek knowledge. Questions asked are readily answered. But do these answers bring wisdom?
The answer to this question is no. Because unlike knowledge, wisdom is not found through a push of a button. Or the turn of a page. It is found on the hard road taken toward the goal you put down on a piece of paper. The commitment you make to yourself that you didn’t ever think you could make, but do, and then you deliver on it.
It starts with small steps. A progression, from questions to commitments. And moves from answers to awareness. And it reminds me of a quote that I heard that goes something like this...
"You think wisdom is a flower for you to pluck. It is a mountain, and it must be climbed.”
Kwai Chang Caine