Runner’s magazine recently ran a story on the re-issue of a book by someone I’d never heard of. This book is now moving to the top of my to-read list.
Dr. George Sheehan was a kind of philosopher of running in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. He wrote a regular column for Runner’s World for 25 years, and among his other book publications was a best-seller called Running and Being. Here’s an excerpt:
“Running made me free. It rid me of concern for the opinion of others. Dispensed me from rules and regulations imposed from outside. Running let me start from scratch. It stripped off those layers of programmed activity and thinking. Developed new priorities about eating and sleeping and what to do with leisure time. Running changed my attitude about work and play. About whom I really liked and who really liked me. Running let me see my twenty-four-hour day in a new light and my lifestyle from a different point of view, from the inside instead of out.”
I’m hooked now, really looking forward to reading this book. When it was published in 1978, I was 12 years old, and the last things on my mind were running and being. The re-issue will, as Runner’s editor in chief David Willey wrote, “introduce George to a new generation of readers.”
There’s something very special about connecting with the words and ideas of someone who enjoyed some of your favorite things, perhaps even thought some of your thoughts, so to speak, long before your time. Dr. Sheehan died in 1993, but I look forward to being part of that new generation discovering his ideas that live on.