Monday, May 13, 2013

Do Runners in Distress Run Best? Revisiting the Run of Forrest Gump

If you've ever ran a distance event, I'm sure someone has yelled "Run, Forrest, Run" to you and then laughed as if they were hysterical.

It has grown tiresome, right? 

Still, Forrest Gump is one of those movies if I'm ever flipping through the channels, I will stop and watch for a bit.  I love the message of the movie, and I admire and covet Forrest's saintly simplicity. His famous run is still iconic and rings true for many of us. If you are in distress, and don't know what to do, sometimes you have to run.

Forrest's run was triggered by Jenny leaving him.  Jenny had just came by his house to dry out, once again using Forrest as her safe place, and then refuses his request to marry.

 Jenny does sleep with him, but, just like Forrest, she needs to 'run' too, and takes off and leaves him the next morning without a goodbye.

And when Forrest wakes up to an empty house, he ponders for a moment, and then darts down his long driveway for a run.

He runs for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours. This is how long it takes to reach some peace, and think to himself; "My mama always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on."

 So, do distressed runners run best?  Are the most avid of runners maybe already living with this constant distress... all of use recycling having our "Jenny" leave us again and again. Because we all know what it's like when Jenny leaves and the house is empty. We go on runs and fill that big gaping hole inside of us, stuffing it with runs and miles and an incredible supply of new oxygen from our gasping lungs.  And once it is full and we've reached some peace, we stop or slow, only to have it drain out and then the hole needs filling again. 

Am I asking because this is me?

I certainly know when I'm at the most primal moments of my runs, I tap into this distress. It's a wonderful arena to play out the angst and issues and drama.  Maybe it's not the best way, but I know of many worse.

So, when I am done with the Bayshore marathon 12 days from now, I hope I end feeling a bit of peace, and turn to some random perplexed runner and, just like Forrest, say, "I’m pretty tired… I think I’ll go home now." 


protometal @ said...

While running can be a form of stress relief, too much stress or distress seems to affect me adversely as far as running goes. I generally run better when I feel better, mentally and physically.

I understand and get what you're speaking to and experience that too, but I thrive more on peace and security for running.

Suzy said...

Beautiful post. I know this concept intimately.

Cait the Arty Runnerchick said...

first of all, i DO think there is a special spot in hell for idiots who still yell this. come up with some fresh material, people! lol. jk.
but i think u've got a great point...i guess some people run for the 'peace' but i think i'm more like you. i'm sure my wacked out brain is in distress in some way, running keeps it on this side of sane. :P

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