One Single Impression: Running

Every Saturday:
The triathlete runs past me
Smiles and says hello
Disappears for
I don't know how long
Reappears and smiles

Says we must be crazy

We alone who are out there
So early on a Saturday morning.

I smile and nod

But he is gone.

I wonder
What he sees.

He runs.
I walk.

Beaver smacking that pond
Saying beware she is here
Mallards swimming at their own pace
Saying so what, so what, so what
Canada geese saying do what you must
We are crossing the road at our own pace
Crows cheerfully waiting for death


You know about squirrels.

I wonder what he sees

As my eye traces the line of the echo
Of the muskrat who makes his way
Across the silent pond.

I mean that I am sure
He sees what I see

But I wonder how it is
To see all that with the heart
Working so much harder
Muscles working so much harder
Breath working so much harder.

I wonder how it is.
What he sees.

I am so slow.
So very, very slow.

I have been wondering what life would be like if I put some muscle into it. I am a very lazy person about a lot of things. There are so many things I just don't do because I just don't feel like it. When I watch this athlete glide on by, I do wonder how the intense physical experiences to which he subjects himself affects how he sees the world. I wonder--and I respect his effort. Ironically, the other day he was walking his dog and we said hello, but I didn't recognize him at the slower pace. Again, ironically, he said he had to walk for the next few weeks because he damaged his knee running.

One Single Impression


  1. I love the meandering pace of this, Sandy. I choose to walk, too. So much to see. And it hurts much less. My nephew is a marathon runner. He has always been an athlete obsessed with his own body image. His knees were trashed by the time he was 26. But he looks good.

  2. i am lazy too, never tried to run..

    i really need to do that..

  3. Anonymous10:23 AM

    From a personal trainer's point of view, I can say this: we only get what we give when it comes to investing in a lifetime of health and fitness.

    It's a worthy venture; dividends are paid long after the deposits are made.

    You might be surprised, though. I would wager that the runner sees discipline, consistency and fortitude in you. The longer the involvement in competitive sports, the greater the understanding of what it takes to live all of life with persistence, resilience and discipline.

  4. Triathletes are a breed apart but I run and its like a meditation. I'm totally in the present and just taking everything in and not really processing it. But then I'm not really pushing myself at all.

    When I walk, I study things more closely and think about things a lot more.

    I love your poem. It captures the wondering about differences.

  5. Sounds like you'll have the opportunity to find out what he might see. I suspect you see more than the average person out there. You have to want to see it. So many don't. I'm glad that you do.. and that you share.

  6. And that's why I like to have my camera "walk with me" when I go. . . that's why I missed it so much the past three weeks. It seemed like life stopped.

    Your poem was so poignant.

  7. Love your poem as always, Sandy, and it is poignant. When I ran -- a long time ago, I was always focused on just that and wasn't that much aware of what was going on around me the focus was inside. But now that I just walk I too seem to focus more on what I see around me -- well, until my knees start screaming at me!
    It is a time of quiet and reflection and I never like to go anywhere without my camera. Have a great weekend!


  8. Dear Sandy
    It is time of quiet and reflection and I never go anywhere without my camera. Have a nice weekend, dearest

    ah....excellent poem...

  9. Such an introspective piece. It's a contrast between slowing down enough to see all those animals and nature from that perspective. Sometimes with your head down, you miss the details. I have been a distance cyclist for over 20 years, racking up 93,000+ miles in my training log. While the exertion helps me focus, improves problems solving, and makes me heathier; the speed and focus means you miss some of those details. Definitely more energy and stamina from the riding for me. I typically see this type of wildlife, riding before dawn with my light on. :) Rob.

  10. My first visit, interesting blog.

    Dorothy from grammology

  11. as you say, you see a lot more, of value, than the athlete. And you have the gift of introspection. A poetic awareness. Those qualities are so important for our culture. Be lazy! I give permission! (And somehow I think your brain ain't that lazy.)
    (You're so early! I have barely thought about the theme and hope I can finally come up with something.)

  12. When I run it's crazy glee running! Everything rushing past so fast make me terrified, dizzy and exhilirated...definitely no focus on anything until several minutes after I stop!!!

    Love the way you've wondered what he sees.

  13. Another very nice and interesting poem, Sandy. I find also walking at brisk step is good for the health, and there is time for thinking.

  14. Sandy: Neat poem, and every run starts with one step. The pain comes at a later time.

  15. Your poem really made me think...many years back, I used to be a runner. I was much more driven back then. As I get older, I have slowed down my pace, and now I prefer to walk and think. You expressed this so beautifully, as always.

  16. Quite a thought provoking the way its written...slowly flows...

  17. Such a long time since I've done any running. It always felt so free.

  18. With knees like mine I don't run. But I have to agree with Titanium on this one. Getting there is much more important than getting there fast.

  19. I love to walk, stroll, enjoy life. I just can't think that pounding the pavement could be that good for you. If I want to go faster I ride my bicycle. I love your poem.

  20. It's OK to be lazy, as in efficient.Lazy as in Idle, however...

  21. Excellent!-I liked the transition from someone running to the big picture in Nature.

  22. Sandy, he should see what you are seeing. I used to run, now I should be walking but I do neither.
    This nice poem has great imaging. I did every step with your poet.

    Thank you for letting Susie's poem be posted for me. I really was under the gun. It seems folks are having fun with the prompt, there are so many differing takes on it.

  23. Hi Sandy,
    I went to Telluride Mountain Film Festival on tour (here in Bend, Oregon for 2 nights) this past weekend and was challenged and stunned again by what the human body is capable of if the spirit is willing.

    My flesh is also weak. But I've started at the gym, just yesterday...

  24. So true Sandy- I never really thought about it. I used to run a LONG time ago and now should be walking but would rather do inside things. Ironically I just started back on the treadmill today, but all I got to see was Ellen on tv. Have a good week!

  25. your poem makes me ponder so many things...
    you have this relationship with the runner, based on passing one another. We bloggers have this relationship based on what we choose to share....
    you wonder about the effort of running, he has a wounded knee. I say, do what feels right. I enjoyed the questioning your poetry inspired, thank you.

  26. the line of the echo
    Of the muskrat who makes his way
    Across the silent pond.
    I love this!
    Running has never appealed to me but I do move quite a lot. Saving my knees, probably! :)

  27. This is a very thoughtfully rich poem. I wonder too about these things. Yet, something tells me the slower pace of seeing is what I would still choose even so.

  28. Oh I am like you... a lazy person...I don't enjoy much muscle works...I'd prefer being infront of the tube or in my lappy!

    But I wish to take life on a fast pace...I want things to happen in a snap of my fingers...:) How ironic it is!

  29. i am lazy too, and my friends called me master of sleep haha.

    such an interesting story. you may be slow but still you reach your goal.

  30. Anonymous9:26 AM

    I love the contrast. I walk as well. You see more.

  31. a lot of depth to this poem ..

    lovely ..


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