Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dry Run


Here's an excerpt from my latest Proof essay at The New York Times:
Throughout that summer, friends inevitably expressed admiration at my willpower to take on 15-plus miles at a time. And though I did not always disabuse people of this admiration, I knew a different truth: willpower is what happens when you have to muscle through; but I didn’t have to muscle through. I had an arsenal of support and ballasts in place to keep me on the right path. Those kooky coaches — who yelled out cheesy and embarrassing cheers, like “I see some heroes on the Mall today!” — were like hyper-euphoric angels, hell-bent on seeing us through the bizarrely human act of running exactly 26.2 miles. And, when the road was really tough, the day particularly hot, and the edible runner’s goo low, I would repeat, in a singsong whisper, I choose to run. I choose to run. I’d look around at my sweet Sweathogs. I choose to run. I’d stare down at my feet. I choose to run. One in front of the other. I choose to run. Sometimes, I’d look up to see I’d gone several miles in a kind of trance.
To read the whole essay, click here.

8 comments:

  1. I've read two of your posts for the Proof blog at NYT and really enjoyed the writing. Congrats on the marathon.
    kate

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  2. Lovely article. I am one of those "kooky coaches," for a charitable organization in NYC.NOTHING makes me more proud than seeing a runner dig deep and finish their first marathon. Congratulations on your marathon and your continued sobriety.

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  3. Your essay was easily the finest thing that has yet been published on the Proof blog. I'm grateful to you and for your writing.

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  4. Thanks for an inspiring article. My daughter suffers from depression and anxiety/panic attacks. Your experience resonated in a strange way. While medication helps, there is still a large portion of recovery from this disease that echoes the mental work you describe in your recovery from alcoholism and training for the marathon. Thanks for providing a vivid example that while it is hard, it is possible to succeed.

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  5. I'm glad you found a group of sweathogs to help you power through.

    I get drunk. We stay sober.

    Keep up the fantastic posts.

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  6. Sacha: just read the Hunter Thompson related article on the Proof blog. As a like-minded unrepentant English Major I found it spot-on and deeply touching. Keep it up and I look forward to following your writing in the future.

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  7. Just read your article about relapse fanatsy. Get a sponsor and go to meetings!!! Glad I'm not you!!

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