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                                                                               Running: Poetry in Motion     

Running is an activity that most people are quite familiar with. Whether through their own direct experiences of running themselves or by their knowledge of running through the media coverage that is so prevalent these days with running events, I am sure most people have heard of words like ‘marathon’ or ‘relays’ or ‘ultramarathon’ or ‘sprints’. Through my own experiences of running and racing in the last four decades I have experienced a full spectrum of the emotions of personal triumphs and defeats as well as just the satisfaction of easy jogging just for the sake of fitness and relaxation.

For me and others who may approach running as a spiritual discipline, running can be best described by songs and poetry, especially by our Spiritual Guide or Guru, Sri Chinmoy. This is one of my favorite poem/songs that offers a spiritual perspective on running.

“Run and Become,

Become and run.

  Run to succeed

  In the outer world.

  Become to proceed

  In the inner world.”


Running not only offers an opportunity for fitness and health, but also embodies the qualities of dynamism and strength which can be helpful in our day to day lives in this fast moving world. Yet another aspect of running which may be overlooked or misunderstood by many is the quality of rhythm and a sense of art or poetry embodied in the act of running.

There are many ways to try and describe this experience of the art of running, just as there are many ways to run. In the following poem I will try to offer one aspect of running which is quite unique and perhaps misunderstood in the world of running and racing in general. It was inspired by running in the longest certified footrace in the world, the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which has been held every summer since 1997 around a half-mile block in New York City.

Rather than try to describe or explain it any further, I will just offer the poem here with the sense of poetry as its theme. Since poetry can creatively express and embody the full range of emotions experienced in our unique human psyche, this race also involves the full spectrum of our human and spiritual emotions as we continually try to move towards a very lofty goal every day for almost two months. Therefore I named it, ‘Poetry in Motion’:

Poetry In Motion

A reality unique

As we circle the block

With no end in sight,

Seeing life unfold all around us

From sunrise to midnight.


The energy intensifies

As the world slowly awakens,

Bursting with activity

For a time undetermined

As we continue our trek

Day after day,

Week after week,

With unrelenting determination and focus

Not meant for the meek.


We strive for a goal indescribable

With our cries and our smiles,

Not defined by the limits

Of time nor the distance

Embodied by its name:

3100 Miles.



Is a more accurate description

Of this unfathomable experience

Of our progress towards a goal,

Where time is our friend

As long as we are in motion,

And where countless struggles

And boundless jubilation

Accompany us to the end. 


As we approach our final destination

Be it distance or time,

With indispensable help from our friends

We have successfully crossed

A formidable Ocean

Of patience and pain,

Sorrows and joys,

And in this unfolding process

With undaunted devotion,

We have become

Poetry in motion.