Prana , Mother Nature and Paying forward.
“What is it about ultra-runners that leads so many to run for a cause? Maybe we’re just a philanthropic bunch? More likely, in my view, it’s because we are well acquainted with the notion of something out there bigger than ourselves – something WAY bigger than ourselves. Be it the distance itself, the friendships found on mountain tops in the depth of night, the tenacity required at sea level in the sweltering heat of summer, or the fortitude that found us in the dry dusty, wonderful sands of the desert. The specific reason really doesn’t matter that much, what does matter is that runners all over the world keep on thinking up new ways to try to pay it forward one step at a time”
I read this and it got me to thinking that this is not just common among ultra runners but rather to people who see beyond themselves in general , people who leave their surroundings , their lifestyle and hence their comfort zone to experience a little of the unknown……
I personally began to feel it when I started rock climbing, there really is nothing like sitting on a tiny ledge 1000 feet up a sheer cliff looking down at the landscape spread out before you to give an appreciation of just how small and insignificant we really are and to open your eyes to the beauty and grandeur of the planet we live on. Indeed my time in the Himalaya both in the mountains and on the rivers has given me absolute respect for the enormous scale that Mother Nature works in and that we as the human race, never mind as an individual are but a whisper on the wind when you look at her grand plan!! She moves mountains and spins planets so she does!!!
Through my experiences in these places I have been witness to and experienced spiritualism, a huge realisation of something way beyond our understanding, yet totally understandable if you can open yourself to the possibility of it all ……I’m not talking gods and ghosts here , I am talking about soul and belief , easiest to grasp is the feeling of the kindred spirit , the deep bonding of people who are facing adventure , endurance , risk and even death together , this leads to deep connections that cannot be broken , friendships that endure years even after only one shared experience and great respect towards each other for the things we face together and individually .. Spiritualism can be the clarity of thought that comes from huge effort , the force that comes from nowhere when you really need it , to experience this is a magical thing , it is like your senses hone 100% to your focus and everything else becomes nothing .. It is you and your purpose, nothing else exists beyond this, the Chinese call it Chi… It is very real!!
Why ? once this realisation starts to enter our psyche, do we want to help others? is it because we want to be better people ourselves , atone for our past sins , to fill our place in this huge experience called life or maybe its simpler than all of that , maybe we just realise that we are blessed by the fact we here and want to deserve that in some way.So we go out and find our cause , we stand up and make our self and our deeds known and hope that we raise both awareness and funding , we try to make our efforts worth something more than just to ourselves , we want to play as big a part in this world as we can .
Running seems to be the perfect place to channel this urge, there is a fantastic infrastructure of fundraising events like 10km, half and full marathons, Ultrathon, in fact you name it you can run it for a charity, this is great, the charities benefit greatly and the events are amazing to take part in, hundreds of thousands of people run in these events worldwide and the benefit to our society is unfathomable.. Many millions of pounds are raised and spent helping poverty, researching Cancer, helping old folks, supporting battered wives and kids and even maybe helping you.. so paying forward is the way we should all be …
The act of giving should create more giving … this is the way, a way to help the unfortunate become the fortunate .