A Little Wisdom From Paul Reese

Published in Other News on 16th January 2006

Paul Reese
Paul Reese

A short while ago I finished reading Paul Reese's fine book, "Ten Million Steps: The Incredible Journey of Paul Reese, Who Ran Across America--A Marathon a Day for 124 Days--At Age 73", (High Country Books, ISBN: 1567960146). This hugely impressive book details one of the most impressive ultrarunning feats I've seen described. Unfortunately Paul passed away in 2004 but not before he had some other adventure and published two more books which I can't wait to read. In 1997 he published "Go East Old Man: Adventures of a Runner in His 70s Traveling 22 Western States", edited by Joe Henderson, (Keokee Company Publishing, Inc., ISBN: 1879628155). (Click Heading for More)

In finding out a little more about Paul I came accross the quote below and felt it was worth sharing, particularly at this early stage of the year when motivation can be hard to find.

"Reflecting on 40 years of running and racing, I've come to the realization that the most important consideration about running is not how fast you can run, not how far you can run, but rather, the degree and manner in which running and racing enhance your life. That is the sum and substance of the worth of running. Having said that, I would venture to guess that very few runners either think or dwell on such enhancement. Their energies, their thoughts, are directed to times, PRs (personal records), races, mileage, gear, and the eternal search for the perfect shoe. I plead guilty to having done much of that when I was competing. Maybe the realization and appreciation of enhancement dawn only after a person has suffered the loss of running and racing. While active, we're just too damned obsessed with the inconsequential to recognize how privileged we are, how running and racing enhance our lives. One thing for sure, if you lose running and racing, you had better be able to devise ways to compensate because you will have a huge void to fill when you come to realize how running enhanced your life." Paul Reese, 2004