Beim Schlafengehen

Nun der Tag mich müd’ gemacht,
soll mein sehnliches Verlangen
freundlich die gestirnte Nacht
wie ein müdes Kind empfangen.

Hände, laßt von allem Tun,
Stirn, vergiß du alles Denken.
Alle meine Sinne nun
wollen sich in Schlummer senken.

Und die Seele, unbewacht,
will in freien Flügen schweben,
um im Zauberkreis der Nacht
tief und tausendfach zu leben.

Hermann Hesse

Trust & Conficence versus Isolation & Anxiety

Running marathons is all about adventures and experiences.

But it is more than just that. Running is about showing faith and confidence in the future. It is about having confidence in your own abilities, in your training schedule, and in the quality of the events you choose to participate in. Looking forward to the next marathon experience is embracing the future with trust. It is an act of love. I think this is one of the reasons why running is so popular: it sets a positive mindset !

In general, having Trust and Confidence in your life prepares your future experiences of adventure, of your career, of your relationships and your friendships. You should cultivate your inner (self-) confidence engine every day. You should affirm your values each day. And you should maintain trustworthyness and integrity so others continue to show you confidence. To me, the path away from a strong value set and personal integrity that is a path towards isolation and, ultimately, loss of self. As the famous quote by Blaise Pascal goes:”What is the good of gaining the whole World if you lose your own Soul ?” (elaborating on Matthew 16:26). The reverse is true as well: you immediately lose the World (= the experiences) if you lose your Soul (= your Trust & Conficence).

To elaborate, I think that the lack of Trust and Confidence is psychologically equal to the fatal idea that you should be “denied” access to future adventures and experiences. And could anything be more threatening to man that NOT having access to the so dearly experiences life gives. Right ? I guess this is why we all fear Death so much: not getting to experience anything anymore, to see our kids and loved ones expericence, etc. Isolation is Death as well, perhaps paradoxially drawn from the hinsight of Sartre:”Hell – that is the others“. The others in our own minds. Our own representation of the others. Our own lack of Trust & Confidence. Oh yes, our thoughts are SO important – each one of them !

In these days with the financial crisis, the international terror threat and what have you, Anxiety flurish. In the Danish media we read about men of great former wealth commiting suicide as a response to the loss your their materialistic – and you could add: extremely spoiled – bases. Is the power of disbelief and self-invented shame really so strong that you will kill yourself to it ? Is the lack of confidence in “a future” that pathologic ? I find it very sad ! But I also have to note that these stories confirm what I have always suspected: that real strength is not connected to the roles people play in the modern society. Roles are often given by appointment. True strength is a quality of the soul and the intellect that no company hierarchies or birthgiven luxuries can shape or maintain for real.

Indeed, in times of opposition true and sound values will prevail. Indeed, people will reconnect to universal and “pure” values. To me, running is one of them, i.e. being in the Nature and being physically active with one self and others, either in play or in sound competition.

Indeed, the stronger kind of Man will continue to display Trust in the future and to seek new experiences.

I will do so too – running !

Marine Corps Marathon 2010

I had a very pleasant trip to Washington D.C. this past weekend. I did not get to meet Barak Obama but I did indeed see the crowds – thousands of people – Saturday at the Jon Stewart rally at The Mall downtown Washington, that was a pretty chaotic and pretty entertaining affair.

Anyways, the main purpose of the trip was of course the Marine Corps Marathon 2010. MCM is also called “The Peoples Marathon” and there is actually no big price money in this event, ie. it is indeed a run for the ordinary man and marine. It proved to be a good one, such.

Raceday started rather early and taking the Metro from Court House to Pentagon at 6.20 pm proved to be a late call, actually.

The first 10 k turned out to include quite a few hills and ramps. Looking behind, I clearly started off much too fast. The first part of the race was primarily in green and soothing surroundings and certain parts had an almost meditative atmosphere.

Later, civilization and cheerful spectators appeared, indeed adding to and uplifting the experience of the event. The crowds in US just simply ROCK ! You MUST try a (big) US race once in your running career !

The highlight of the race was to me the part through the Smithsonian area, The Mall, just after passing The White House (!) and the Washington Monument. On this picture we see the US Capitol in the background.

The last part of the route included passing of the Pentagon and the finish at the famous Arlington Cementary…

… to cut the story short… I dragged myself through and got the medal. Jobe done !

So I can easily recommend a vist to the Marine Corps Marathon and to the many museums in Washington, the Holocaust Museum being the absolute most impressive and heartbreaking to see. But just to walk around The Mall and the Smithsonian area is filled with big and lasting impressions, with historic sites and monuments, and with touching memorials documenting the strive and losses of the American people. God Bless America and the Marine Corps Marathon too ! Go visit !

You find the entire story on the Marine Corps Marathon 2010 here (Danish) and here (English).