My amazing father-in-law has Parkinson’s disease. The troubadour who once climbed atop North America can no longer play guitar or speak to his grandchildren, but twenty-odd years ago he stood up in AA and told his story. Thank goodness someone thought to record his words…we listened to them this week. At the end of his talk, he quoted this poem by Helen Marshall, and I was struck by how perfectly it encapsulates my own philosophy towards running and life:
LOOK UP AND LIVE
This business of living was meant to be more
Than plodding along each day
With head bowed down and eyes on the ground,
While time ticks the hours away.
God made this world a delightful place
With beauty everywhere–
The grass, the flowers, the trees, the sky
The tang of clean, fresh air.
A world to be lived in, laughed in, loved,
To be met with joy and zest.
A world with a challenge for each of us
To give it out very best.
This business of living was never meant
As a treadmill sort of thing;
There are rivers to cross and mountains to climb,
And glorious songs to sing!
— Helen L. Marshall.