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Shodo and Running

If I told you that hill training would help with your running, no one would bat an eyelid.

If I told you that proper nutrition and recovery is a must with running, everyone would agree.

If I told you Shodo would help with running, no one would know what I am talking about.

But it does. A lot!

Shodo is the art of Japanese calligraphy. It has an extensive history, dating back as far as the 4th century. It is not only a form of written communication, it is art at its finest.

I started training in Shodo only recently but have already reaped many benefits from this. The list is extensive and at the top is awareness. When you do Shodo, you are not just writing Kanji (Japanese characters — kind of like a word in English), you connecting your heart with your mind with your hand. In the process of this tri-connection, art is formed. The character comes forth.

The key here is preparation; that is, you must be aware of what you are feeling, what you want to feel and how you want to express your feelings via the ink. Once that connection is at its crescendo, take a deep, slow breath and write. Once completed, you now have to live with what you have done. The ink is permanent.

I find the similarities and applications to running very striking, particularly for this 50 mile ultra.

I have specific feelings about it, feelings about what I wish to accomplish, who I wish to accomplish things for and of course, the preparation. On May 14, I will begin the event. On May 15th, God and legs willing, I will complete the event.

For the rest of my life, I will have to live with the results of the event.

The road is my canvas. My body is the brush and my passion is the ink. It will be most interesting to see what character I will “write.”

More so, it will be interesting to see what type of character I will become.


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