Barrelhouse: That’s kind of a best/worst case scenario, right? So, that thing you talk about when you’re drinking — why don’t you put your money where your mouth is, when you’re not drinking, and write a book about it? I’m still waiting for somebody to ask me to write a book about my theory of people’s favorite Patrick Swayze movies (it’s real!), by the way.
Did writing these essays change the actual process of running for you?
BT: You nailed it, in this case it was a good thing. As would be a Swayze book.
And now an answer:
I’m surprised how hard it is for me to start this answer, it must be the Swayze reference you made before asking this question, because now despite how hard I try not to think about it, all I can think about is Swayze in that Chippendales skit with Chris Farley. Well, that and Roadhouse of course. Wait, what was the question? Oh right, change, running, process, all of that. What’s changed the most, is something that was least conscious on my part as I wrote the essays, but has become more glaring to me as I have answered questions about the collection and read some of the reviews, and it is this idea that much of the time the process of running for me is not that enjoyable. I get a lot out of it, both as a writer and just as someone who needs to slough off any number of tensions and anxieties. I have a compulsive need to run and there is pleasure, but all of this is counterbalanced by not feeling good, getting older, being in pain, and not fluid, worrying about my arthritic knees and I consciously wrote these things, but while I understood that all of this was on my mind, I had blocked out how often running is akin to suffering, and so now I’m super-conscious of that on all runs, adding a new compulsion to my vast collection of old ones.