By Howard Harrison
Running away. Running to.
Running to get away.
Running to escape.
Running to meditate.
Running for the endorphin high.
Running and running and running.
It was kind of like Forrest Gump without the following crowd.
I started running cross country at Garﬁeld High School in Seattle’s central district. I wasn’t much good at team sports, so running drew me in like a magnet. The coach was inspiring, and I enjoyed pushing myself physically.
When we moved to the suburbs of New Orleans, I ran cross country at East Jeﬀerson High School, running on the shell gravel along the canals, watching for snakes and gators and maybe catching the eyes of the girls.
Over the years I pounded the pavement on many 10 K’s and four marathons, but the joy of running through the woods gave me the most satisfaction. Running up and down Mt. Si or along the trail in the Hoh rain forest, I was a deer frolicking through the wild, one with the woods.
Running was a central part of my life for many years, but it took a toll on my knees. When I had my knees replaced with titanium, I gave up running. It was a great spiritual and physical loss, but I will always have the memory of the joy of running – and I can still walk!