A Lifelong Student of Running

“Today, Janicek, 47, is one of Austin’s top masters runners”


Here is the PDF version of the article should the link above ever go away.

Wow. I don’t know what to say. I’m honored. That’s one thing.

However, I know there are so many more runners (masters or otherwise) that are stronger, better, and faster than me. And that’s a huge reason why I’ll always consider myself a student of running. Before I became a runner, I thought running was pretty basic and, well, boring. I mean, you put one foot in front of the other in rapid succession, right? It’s often the most basic of endeavors that can provide a lifetime of learning and exploration.

For years I was a student of Tae Kwon Do. I used to love to fight and I loved to win even more. Losing wasn’t an option in my mind. I remember very vividly one day when I got my ass handed to me and I lost. I was mad and frustrated with myself. My instructor and mentor Gus Pennison looked me square in the eye and told me, “you’ll never learn by winning all the time.” That was 30 years ago and I’ve held dearly to that advice.

My friend Brom wrote this piece about me. A few hours before he’d called me, I was having one of those very introspective moments.

See, I still have big goals and dreams for myself in running. And I think I still have a lot left in me. But I’m at this point now where there’s this immeasurable amount of me that just wants to give it away. To share it as far and wide as I can. And not even running. Just getting outside and moving your body through time and space. That’s a big reason why I started a walk/run group in my neighborhood. That’s why I bought a book that I’m reading right now that teaches the walk-run-walk methodology. To learn more and to give it away.

While I was in that introspective moment I had this vision of myself. It was one of those out-of-body moments, like I was watching myself from above. I was holding the sun in my right hand. My arm was extended from the side of my body and I was looking out, far into the horizon, while casting this thought that was louder than anything that any animal could register.

“I have THIS thing. It is light and life. And you can have it for free.”

Whatever that thing is that you love and that brings you joy, nurture it and work on it and grow and learn to love it more than you’d ever imagined. And then give it away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *