There are times in a run, though sadly not in every run, when we feel free of effort, or concentration, and movement becomes as easy as rest. At those times, which are often only fleeting in nature, we are beyond tiredness. and motion, the elements, the landscape and our body seem to work together. I relish those times, often, for me, only found on longer distance runs as I feel I can keep running for ever. This feeling is capture in the book ‘Bone Games’ by Rob Schultheis. Though the following passage is about his descent from a mountain following injury, it could so easily be the feeling of ‘flow’ during an Ultra:
“I hung there for I don’t know how long: thirty seconds, two minutes, half an hour. I couldn’t climb back up the overhanging rock, and I could not descend…”.
“Something happened on that descent, something I have tried to figure out ever since, so inexplicable and powerful it was. I found myself very simply doing impossible things…”.
“I know my limitations, and I was climbing way, way beyond them. One small part of me trembled with fear and fatigue, cried out to be rescued, to be whisked away to any place other then this bleak precipice. The rest, confident, full of an unsane joy, revelled in the animal dance of survival, admired the brilliant crystals in the granite, the drunken calligraphy of ice crystals… was totally possessed by the act of mountaineering, rejoiced in the immense vertigo of the place. It was like certain dreams I have had…”. “The person I became on Neva was the best possible version of myself, the person I should have been throughout my life…”.