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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sinbad Running Upon Asphalt Rivers

An Asphalt River of a Sinbad Runner

نهج البلاغة

Finally, after two years of troubles: problems with the knee ligaments, then problems with the ankle tendons, I have reached a point where I have no particularly unusual pain during and after running. And this is a real mitvah, I think, a real blessing.

Given my advanced age, I have to be focused while running; I cannot blithely "pick 'em up and put 'em down" willy-nilly, like a young kid. I have to preserve the tendons and ligaments for another few years. I have been more or less doing this for more than 50 years, so I would miss the sweaty treat of the morning wind and the peppery smell of pollens and the asphalt river upon which we Sinbad runners sail...

I meditate while running. I have to keep it along the lines of the jogging endeavor, so as not to lose sight of what I am doing. When I forget I am running, I wobble, waiver, and disaster awaits.

Today I meditated on a sermon from the Nahj al Balaagha  ( in Arabic above left)  of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son in law of the Prophet. This is a sermon that, for me, is very appropriate and often the object of attention. These words were delivered to large groups and often in a military setting, so keep that in mind if some of the expressions seem to sound odd, such as "Your last ones are being awaited...", which makes a good deal of sense if we think of the rear guard of an army - or, in my case, the stragglers in a running race who lag behind.
Your goal - reward or punishment - is before you.
Behind your back is the hour of resurrection which is driving you on.
Stay light and overtake (the forward ones). Your last ones are being awaited by the first ones (who have preceded).


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