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 Two Paths Along The River 
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Post Two Paths Along The River
Two Paths Along The River
by: Rick Baker

When running a marathon there is a challenge to the runner both inside the person and in the outer world. The marathon event presents a challenge that opens up a labyrinth path deep into the mental and spiritual aspects of the person running. A labyrinth is not a maze or a direct route to a destination. The same could be said of the marathon courses I have run. My favorite marathon has a course that has the entrants running parallel with a river. I find this to be an excellent metaphor because I believe rivers are symbolic of life. I also believe that a marathon is a form of meditation.

The pain of a marathon is delayed pain and will be waiting for me at the finish line. The fatigue is an ever growing weight I must carry through the race. The distance is my competition and the stress is not only physical, but mental too. Hills and bad weather are obvious examples of the physical challenges that wear away at my determination. I have also found that races of any distance are painfully difficult to run when the course takes the runners straight out to a half way point and then returns with the same route. A race course with lots of twists and turns before the finish line is hard on a runners faith. It wears away my determination to run away from the finish line when near the end of a marathon. In one marathon this happened when the course had runners take an out and back four mile loop in the opposite direction of where we would be finishing. I’ve run in a marathon where the course abruptly went from a narrow tree lined path directly into an open, flat, treeless plain and multi lane road. With such open landscape it was difficult to see any progress in putting away the miles. It made me feel like I was on a treadmill.

My personal labyrinth winds through an interior landscape of doubt and fear. Old memories surface when triggered by scenes of outer realty. All it takes is a certain view of a house, building, or person and I’m looking over my shoulder or into the sky for past images. My labyrinth is noisy too. Its not some quiet garden path. If I’m at the eighteen to twenty mile mark of a race my body is begging me to stop and my ego is screaming at me for even thinking about it.

There is a point where I believe I come close to the labyrinth destination. It is my belief that deep inside every individual there is a point where there is perfection. Going deep inside one finds connection to everyone and everything . I’ve heard the sounds of deer crashing through the forest undergrowth running parallel to me and it felt like I was really running with them. I feel like a tourist while passing by familiar landmarks. I can sense a connection while running through new places. At this point the two paths by the river are merging.

About The Author
My wife Nancy and I have created a company called Imagination Circle. We are middle aged active adults with a desire to maintain good health. Our web site is not just another vitamin site. We believe in a holistic approach to health with not only a focus on the physical, but the mind and spirit as well. We are strong believers in the power of imagination, connection, and co-operation of people.

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:35 am
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