“I am an artist at living, and my work of art is my life.” Suzuki, Japanese philosopher
“Running is the runner’s work of art.” – George Sheehan, running guru
It’s no secret that I’ve been at this running thing for a long time. Okay, okay, I’ve been at it for decades. There are days my knees ache a little in the morning, and days it takes a little longer to straighten up than it used to. And then, there are days when I have to force myself out the door for a run. But the fire still burns because I know how I’ll feel when I’m done. I’ll feel refreshed, with a smile on my face and a glimmer in my eye.
This past summer, a photograph by Italian photographer Francesco Romoli caught my attention. Romoli titled his picture Forever Young, which I found fitting because the image captures the spirit of aging youth. The image is that of an elderly woman who cast the shadow of a ballerina. It could just as easily be an elderly man casting the shadow of a runner. When I saw the picture I thought, That’s me! or any one of the many guys and gals from my generation who, when I pass them along the trail, have that familiar glimmer in their eye.
Now when I’m on the trail, running through the countryside or downtown Philly, I envision Romoli’s picture, only instead of the elderly woman it is me walking down the street, and I am free, happy, and young once again.