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  • Writer's pictureLukas Bürk

Running Philosophy Day 8: Playing the Game

Play, one of the essential parts of our childhood, is perhaps one of the first things we tend to lose as we grow older.

We become serious, but it’s often a pretend sort of seriousness—a feeling that we should be serious rather than actually being so.

Play involves engaging in activities just for the sake of doing them, with no ulterior motive. According to Stuart Brown, "Play is an absorbing, apparently purposeless activity that provides enjoyment and a suspension of self-consciousness and sense of time" (source: Stuart Brown, National Institute for Play).

Reintroducing play into my life helps me live with more joy and take things less seriously. Running, to me, is a game, or at least I try to treat it that way.

I am a person playing a character that trains for trail races. When the overall game doesn’t serve me anymore, I can drop the character, the mask, the aspect of me, and choose a different game.

This doesn’t mean that every training session needs to be filled with laughter or that it can’t be challenging.

But the overall game needs to be enjoyable. This mindset reduces the feeling of self-importance and the attachment to the role of a runner, reintroducing a lightness to it all.

At least, that’s the mindset I am currently experimenting with. Let's find out how that goes.

Disclaimer and notes on this series:

This blog series is a collection of my musings on philosophy as it relates to my passion for running. It's not a how-to guide or a set of rules. These are just my daily thoughts and questions, not my final answers.

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