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Running is an addictive drug

TH taught us that running was a noble thing, a crucible wherein the aspiring disciple can realize his or her full potential.

I beg to differ.

It's a drug. Running may be fine in modest quantities but pushed to an extreme it's an addictive drug. I know because I got addicted. It got me high. Once I developed a taste for that high I needed it. It became a craving I couldn't control. I needed harder, better, faster, stronger. I started running in Kenya, after we moved from Margaret Close to Ridgeways. I loved the feeling of freedom I had when I ran. But running was never the right thing for me, and soon after I started the world gave me a stern warning. I didn't listen. Ignoring that warning turned running into a mistake I needed to make. TH created a cult to support his three addictions: running, booze, and sex with his disciples.

Quitting. In 1991 I ran the Seattle Half Marathon at just under a seven-minute pace. I was happy with that time, to put it mildly. I thought I might hit 7:15. I never thought I'd break seven minutes. My knees hurt for days afterward. Especially my left knee. I had to have my meniscus repaired. My body was beginning to break down under the stress of running. Just like my liver started breaking down from booze. I decided to quit running. Take the pledge, break the habit. It was a tough choice. I was a hard core addict. For years all my best moments happened running. Just like I couldn't imagine having a good time without booze when I first struggled to quit that. Quitting running put me through the agony of detox.

Running and walking. I have a long history of running abuse, starting in Kenya in the 1960s. Running was a bad idea. Leela showed up as a cobra to give me fair warning. Running was never a good idea. Walking is right for me. Walking is uniquely human. Running we share with other animals but we're lousy at it. Four legs run better than two. Two legs walk better than four. We didn't become human until we stopped running, being always on the move, and lived in permanent settlements. Walking upright is the natural human pace. In the mesolithic era we'd become human but not modern human. We were still part of nature. Modern humans have always been separate from nature. Atavistic urges to return to nature or to get back to the land are betrayals of our humanity. Our role as modern humans is to be disruptors of nature.