Have you ever tried closing your eyes in the middle of a run? You try, for just a moment, to zone out the pain and forget what you are doing. I’ve caught myself doing this before, especially in longer races. What’s amazing is that even if you close your eyes for a few seconds, your body is still able to keep moving forward at the same speed–your brain somehow still able to calculate, with the finest precision, just where your feet ought to land.
Then consider the incredible feats accomplished by visually impaired runners. Take Jason Romero who became the first and only blind person to run across America, or World Record-holder David Brown, the first legally blind runner to break 11seconds in the 100m.
Running blind takes an incredible amount of faith, but that doesn’t make it impossible.
Some days, I feel like I’m running blind, figuratively speaking. If you know me well, you probably know that I’m not the best with decision making, especially when it’s something that has a profound effect on the future. As much as I try to live in the moment, it’s hard not to worry about what the future might hold.
They say that “anxiety is simply living out the future before it happens.” If that’s true, then anxiety is like trying to plan out your steps 800m ahead of you while you’re running…it simply doesn’t make sense. Even on a rocky trail, we’re able to run without intensely staring at the ground (well, some of us!) and that’s what I love about this sport; the opportunity it provides to zone out, be at peace, experience zen.
Without even realizing it, running takes a lot of faith. I mean, have you actually thought about all of the neurological connections that have to occur every hundredth of a second in order for your feet to land in front of one another?
When I think about this, I must remind myself that the same one who created our bodies with the ability to run blind is the same one that I believe has sovereignty over this world and my life. In other words, if I have faith in my own two (sometimes clumsy) feet, then I should have a little more faith in the God of the universe.
Of course, it’s always easier said than done; but my motto right now is “let go and let God.”
Let go–like when you’re finishing a grueling race, coming down the last straight and you just want to close your eyes and let go–let go of every distraction, every doubt, every worry, and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.