500 Miles

By Colleen Yorke
Navigational Art and Directions By Colleen Yorke, © 2017.
"Life begins at the end of our comfort zone" 

For me, a lot has changed, since I started running last year. I associated running with a form of freedom, a way of choosing to let go. In reality, running is so much more than that. Running gives us a sense of clarity, of being alive in that moment, of idyllic nirvana. For many of us, running becomes a lifelong commitment. 
Robert "Raven" Kraft.

In 1975 a young man with shoulder long black hair joined a group of boxers for a 1 mile run on the Miami Beach for the first time. He has run every day ever since. Nicknamed the Raven, the man has seen every sunset for the past thirty nine years from a strip of sand now called South Beach, always starting from the 5th Street Lifeguard Station at 5:30 pm. Over the years runners from all age groups and backgrounds have joined "Raven" in his 8 miles' morning ritual
From being clueless about pacing or distance running a year before, I started this year burning through a new pair of shoes and 500 miles of running in 70 days. Running pushes us to defy limits. We are in control of our life. We learn to celebrate the moment, but for some of us running also teaches a valuable life lesson. With commitment and discipline we pass mile markers and new finish lines. Instead of letting go, we train to attain new heights. With the blow of a whistle we blaze through distances we considered impossible, walls we considered indestructible. Last night a friend asked me whether I planned to run another marathon this year. Like many others, he has watched me race the Los Angeles Marathon doing split times of 7:23 minutes per mile for the first 13 miles. The answer is a resounding "Yes". As our feet hit the road again, 500 miles from home, on the other other side of fear, we discover, life begins.