Posted by: Joe English | April 3, 2012

Commentary — True Inspiration

running-advice-bugI’m tired right now. Tired because I went on a damn long run today thanks to Micah True. And I’m thankful for that.

For those of you that don’t recognize the name, Micah True was an ultra-endurance runner of almost legendary stature. He became so largely after being prominently featured in the best selling book Born To Run. If you’ve read the book, which you likely have, he is the person in the book nick-named the Cabllo Blanco — the Western runner who had moved to live and run among the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico. Micah died this past week while out on a run. In the wake of his death, many people have reflected on his influence in getting a new breed of people interested in running. Some have suggested that we runners leave our watches behind and just go out for a long run in his honor.

Muddy Legs -- Thanks Micah

Today was one of those days when I was waffling about running outdoors or sticking to the treadmill. A steady rain was falling outside, but alas it is Spring in Portland, so the weather is warm enough to brave the rain. I had forgotten to charge my GPS unit, but I took one look at the treadmills and decided that I needed to get outside today. I headed for a trail that I run only occasionally and I started to reflect on what Micah and Born To Run had meant to me.

This trail leads into the woods, down into a low valley where it crosses a creek. The crossing at this point is a series of foot-bridges set above a marshy area. As I ran trail thinking about what I wanted to write about Micah I came to the crossing and the bridges were completely submerged in water. A broad smile leapt across my face. Micah must have wanted me to go another way I thought to myself.

I headed back up the trail, still grinning, and then descended another trail toward the creek. This time the trail wasn’t submerged, but about 50 yards farther along the trail a huge puddle covered it from side-to-side and beyond. I stopped and took a look. There was no way that I could jump it. Even at my best, I would need to take two or three steps in the calf-deep water. I laughed out loud as I stood there. ‘You want me to go through, don’t you?’ I said aloud.

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