tisdag 16 februari 2010

Curro Ergo Sum

What do we really know?

What is knowledge anyway..?

And more importantly. What the heck has it to do with running? And why write about it here???

Running is a good moment for thinking. Especially the long runs. With the bad knee, and alternative training, I have contemplated why running is so important to me. The running itself. Why?

How do I know that I am sitting here, writing on my blog? How can I be sure I am just not dreaming? A fundamental philosophical question, which is actually quite profound. The modern version is of course the movie "Matrix". A pretty cool movie by the way.
But seriously, how can I be sure..? And how can I be sure, that everything around me actually exist outside my own body?

If you take this to its bizarre limit, the true skepticism, I can actually only be certain of one thing: that I exist in this moment. I can not be sure I existed 5 minutes ago, but I can be sure I exist now. This is where Descarte said "cogito ergo sum", which translates a bit sloppy to "I think therefore I am". Great! At least something to be sure of..

Then of course, you can ask yourself: does it matter?

But if we know that we exist- what is then knowledge? What is knowing? Fundamentally?

According to some philosophers (or most, what do I know), for something to count as knowledge, we need to have a justifiable belief that is also true.

Belief. We have to believe it. Yes, I believe I exist. Most of the time.

Justifiable. Hmm. Well, cogit ergo sum. From my own perspective, I kind of think that there are a fair amount of "evidence" that I actually exist. I mean. The completely bizarre IT- and HR-support in Sweden, I would never have thought something like that out. So there must be something outside me that exist, hence I exist. But then again. Its a matter of definition if our IT-support actually can be defined as "existing". Damn, this was more difficult than I thought.

True. This is a really tricky part. How can say it is true. Cogito ergo sum, again (yeah yeah, maybe I am mixing things up, but I am a runner, not a philosopher..).


When I run. When I feel my muscles, the breath. The pain. Can I be anything else but alive? How could I be non-existing, and feel so much?

And could that be it..?

Could that be a reason for running, or even the reason? To exist? To be, for a few moments (or hours if you are in the slightly bizarre ultrarunning-business) be certain of your own existence.

Curro ergo sum. I run, therfore I am?

måndag 8 februari 2010

Heart, reason and a bad knee..

Body and soul. Heart and reason. There is always a balance, or should be.

The first month in Sweden have been tough, tougher than I thought. Salsa have helped me, or us, to keep the balance, first in my ears, then the course we started.
And Alberto! Our wonderful salsa-teacher! Every second sentence en español, laughing and joking.

And the running of course, the core of my being. Well, an important part. That especially clear when I can not run. On my run home on Friday, I jumped to what I thought was solid ground.

It was not.

10 cm of icefilled water, and ice on the bottom. Managed to keep my balance, but hurt my left ankle bad, and it did nothing to improve my right knee. On Saturday morning, I could hardly walk. It was a balance of sorts, since I could barely walk on my left foot because of the ankle, and barely on my right thanks to my knee.


Went swimming with Ida on Sunday. For the first time ever, I managed to swim 8x25 meters! Ok, I have some way to go before I will make the Ironman, but I dont care. If I can swim 25 meters now, I can do the Ironman.. I dont know... next year? The only two Ironman I know about, is the one in Hawai and the one in Kalmar.. I have to think hard about which to choose...

So. Balance between heart and reason. Reason tells me to rest. Heart tells me to go running. I am not the most balanced person on earth, but this time I will let reason win. For this time.. And for a while. Swimming is ok, but nothing, absolutely nothing beats the slow, steady, soothing rythm of long distance running. Or the adrenalin-filled flying through the air, beeing the antilope, short distance race. Nothing. Its all heart.

There is no reason, or sense, to run really long runs. Or to push the muscles and will to the limit on a heart-pounding 5k race. No reason at all. But heart. All heart!

But. As Blaise Pascal put it. Heart has its own reason (free translation)!

fredag 5 februari 2010

A dark wood, icecold water and two hours for contemplation

Friday afternoon. Sun is setting, and it is time to close down work and run home. Today we saw a strange, yellow round thing up in the sky. Someone said it is called "The Sun". I dont know, but it was quite beautiful.

Anyway, when I got running at 5 pm, that yellow things was long gone. So was the moon. Why use a headlamp in the wood if you can stumble on in loose snow on the tracks. If you find the tracks..

Met three horses on the way. Almos crashed into the first one. Shouldnt they use headlights???

Found a strange sign on the way. Could someone explain, please! "Skuttipp". Doesnt translate in any language.

Continuing passed Ulriksdal station and towards Stockholm. Probably above zero degrees C now, a lot of muddy snow. Pretty heavy to run through. Especially with my "light" pack on my back, with the work laptop and some clothes, around 5 kg extra.

Running across S:t Eriksbron, and the sidewalk are fairly crowded now. Jump to the left, onto the cyclelane. What looks like dry ground is actually 10 cm deep freezing cold water mixed with snow. Wonderful! Swearing a minute or two, before I calm down and realize that this is a good opportunity to see if wool-socks are as good as they are supposed to!

Freezing quite a lot for about 10 minutes, then my right foot start to warm up. After 20 minutes, I am perfectly ok. Wool rocks!

I like the two hour run home on Fridays. Give me time to think and relax. Listening to salsa, hearing the spanish brings me back to Panama for a few moments!

Running with a smile on my face!