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Running Tattoos

Distance Running and Tattoos just go together.  They both give an endorphin rush from an exotic mix of pleasure and pain, and in some ways, both permanently leave a mark upon our bodies that we take to the grave. Running is a long, slow, drawn out tattooing of your insides.

The link between tattooing and runners is an essential part of my novel, On the Lips of Children. One of the characters, Erin Facinelli, was a cutter as a teen. The rush of endorphin relief and the empowerment of cutting her own body brought relief.  As an adult, when trauma hits again and she has the urge to cut, she instead wanders into a tattoo parlor, and falls in love with both the sweet sting of the needle and the tattoo artist himself.

Macon is the tattoo artist, and soon his work starts to cover her body, and the scars from her life as a cutter are covered. Erin is able to quickly hook Macon into becoming a marathoner.

This is a true story, even if it didn't happen.  Runners may be the third most inked up group after bikers and basketball players.

Here are a few of my favorites from their list: (and by the way, I tried to track these folks down, but couldn't find anything definite. If this is your body part, please let me know and say hi.)  All of them are on the feet, which is apropos of running, since foot ink is a real sign of being a bad-ass.

**First up is the phrase "Miles to Go" taken straight from the poem "Stopping By the Woods On A Snowy Evening."  Erin Facinelli has this similar phrase on her own body, but the complete line of "Miles To Go Before I Sleep..." which is repeated in the poem, a testament to the many battles and footstrikes yet to go before we lay down, either for the night or for good.

(from Jamie Benefield)
**Here's one that has already been tattooed on my insides; Met-enkephalin = the chemical compound formula for “Runner's High.” 

(from Natalie Estrada Loop)

**This last one is inspired by the God of Gonzo runners, Steve Prefontaine, whose many famous quotes include: "The best pace is a suicide pace. And today looks like a good day to die."   Yes, it is on both sides of her foot.

(From Mnugent37)

If there are any inked up runners out there, I'd love to hear from you, shoot me an email or leave a comment.

On The Lips of Children
$3.99 for Kindle
Paperback Coming in September.


Jennifer Graham said…
Okay, this is the first time I have ever experienced even an inkling of desire for a tattoo. I am going to go lie down until the feeling passes.
hmmm, this is tempting! I have a few tattoos, but not a running one. Great post!
Redhead Running said…
No running tattoos here, but have considered it. Loved that RW post with all the pics. Definitely some good ones in there.

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