Friday, March 2, 2018

Karnazes: "Running is when I am at peace. It’s when I’m happiest."

In an October 2006 New York Times article titled "He's Still Running Out There Somewhere," renowned ultramarathon runner, Dean Karnazes, is quoted as saying, "Running is when I am at peace. It’s when I’m happiest." He made that statement as I was nearing the finish of my solo coast-to-coast run across America. Essentially, Dean is a guy who hit his "midlife crisis" at the early age of 30 and journeyed into ultra-marathon running.

At the time Dean Karnazes said "Running is when I am at peace. It's when I'm happiest," he was actually on the road with his wife and their two children -- ages 8 and 12. There once was a time in my life when I was most at peace, and happiest, when running. However, that is no longer true. Now, I am most at peace and happiest when I am with the love of my life, Kelley. I've learned over the years that physical exertion gives you a limited amount of happiness and peace, but the deepest level of happiness and peace in life comes through a loving, trusting, and completely committed relationship rooted in unconditional love. THAT is what I've been blessed with and that is what gives me my ultimate peace and happiness in life.

I must say that my Christian faith also gives me peace and happiness at a spiritual level, and to have a partner whose faith is of great importance in her life makes the journey of faith all the more sweet.

In just one month from now, I'll be turning 53. As I've gotten older, I've learned what it means to truly be happy and at peace. Those who know me are aware of the many unhappy and unpeaceful times that I've experienced as I've reached for life's mileposts. I'm at a season of life where happiness and peace are a regular part of my days. That doesn't mean that my life is "perfect," because nobody's life is. All of us have struggles and stresses to deal with. However, I've grown to understand that it's the little things in life that are the most cherished and the most influential on experiencing deep and lasting peace and happiness.

Yes, there was a time in my life when I would have agreed with Dean Karnazes (that running brings the most peace and happiness), but I've outrun that misconception.

From Him, Through Him, For Him (Romans 11:36),

Paul J. Staso

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