On Saturday mornings when I go for my long run along the beach, I see lots of people: tourists and locals, young and old, families and singletons. Lots of wonderful dogs. Lots of people working out. But only a few people really fill me with joy and they aren’t tourists or happy grandparents with their grandchildren, no sir.
The crooked runners fill me the joy. Not the fastest, fittest runners. Not the tan women, with tiny waists and big chests, decked out in black Nike spandex. Not the beautiful young couples: French and shiny, on vacation and out for a jog.
No, I like the most desperate people: mostly older, mostly graying men who limp, who favor one side, who breathe so heavily they sound like they’re about to die. The guys who are all about guts and a little bit about glory. People who run, everyday, even though it hurts and their joints are creaky and one shoulder hangs lower than the other. People who run for something far beyond losing weight or looking good, people who have no choice but to keep putting one foot in front of the other.