What Genre is This?

We walked. We had gone there to run, parked the car by the water, headed for the trail. But she pulled up and said ouch and I could see she was limping. I said, “Let’s just walk and see if it loosens up.”

After half a mile or so, we tried to jog a little, but it was obviously not working, and I shut it down again. She would have kept going. She’s like that. But, discretion. Valor. Better to walk and heal than run and hurt.

Walking turns out to be a big part of what we do. Sometimes we hike, which is just a rebranding of ‘walk.’ Sometimes we run/hike, which is what ultra-running really is for most people. Sometimes we’re running hard and one of us falls or blows up, and we end up walking.

We have a ten mile virtual race on Sunday, so I didn’t want her to push herself and break and miss the race. I’m selfish. She felt guilty that she had “ruined the run,” but I didn’t care. Why should I care?

I was watching an interview with a musician I like. The interviewer said, “Why did you decide to go into this genre of music?” And the musician said, “I’ll answer your question with a question. What genre of music is this?”

Right. Exactly. What is it we’re really doing here?

The human mind loves to break things down, to identify patterns and create associations, sometimes where none really exist. I am as guilty as anyone. Are the Phases of the Game real? Do they correspond to chemical states in the mind/body? Or are these just stories I tell myself to make sense of my running?

“What genre is this?” is a question I could ask myself about Dirt Soul Search. Is this a running blog? A cycling blog? An outdoor blog? What are these posts? Essays? Rants? Why would you post content about surfing? About a dead tree?

I don’t know, and it probably doesn’t matter. I run. I walk. I ride. I write. Just keep moving. Judge it less. Smile more. Let the music play.

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