The symbiosis of writing and running

Symbiosis: the living together of two dissimilar organisms. In terms of activities, what could be more different  that running and writing? One you do at a desk using your mind, the other is done outside using your muscles.

In psychiatry, symbiosis is a relationship in which each person is dependent upon, and receives reinforcement from, the other. In psychoanalysis, it is the relationship between an infant and its mother in which the infant is dependent on the mother both physically and emotionally. This describes well the connection between my running and my writing.

For decades, the embryonic version of Michael Selmer- the writer grew inside of Michael Selmer, the husband, father, runner and working man. Like a fetus inside the womb, the writer developed the basic form that would allow him to go out into the world. Labor lasted twenty-nine hours, thirty-six minutes and seventeen seconds; the time it took to complete a one-hundred-mile race  that plumbed the depths of my soul. After that race, I was a different person. My mind, spirit and emotions were fired in the crucible of a body driven beyond its limits. The Rocky Mountains above Leadville, Colorado served as the birth canal for a writer. Like an infant, the writer had to crawl before he could walk; walk before he could run.

For me, writing is much like a race. The gun starts you with high hopes, and then you settle into a pace that lets the personality of the race develop. Struggles and conflicts arise during the race, but you overcome them to arrive at a dramatic finish. As a newborn writer, I have many years of growth ahead of me and, with the confidence of youth, I know my best races are yet to come.

And so I have arrived at a title, a theme and a direction for my blog. The Symbiosis of Writing and Running will explore the vast landscape of ideas, experiences and emotions that exist between my running and my writing. It will aim to entertain and inspire the runner in all of us; nurture and commune with the writer in all of us.

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Filed under Running, Symbiotic, Writing

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