Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Mandela – A Remembrance

Nelson Mandela once said that “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire.”  Mandela-sports-quoteSport does have the power to inspire, as did Mandela. Though boxing was his sport, he was also a cross-country runner. It was jogging that was his companion through 27 years in prison.  It’s reported he jogged seven miles of day, sometimes in a cell, sometimes in the prison courtyard.

English: Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robbe...

English: Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island Français : Cellule de Nelson Mandela, Robben Island Deutsch: Nelson Mandelas Gefängniszelle auf Robben Island Myanmasa: Robben Island (ရော်ဘင်ကျွန်း)ပေါ်ရှိ Nelson Mandela’s (နယ်လဆင် မန်ဒဲလား) ၏ထောင်အခန်း (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early in the morning. Twenty-seven years, seven miles a day, jogging in limited space. Sometimes followed by push-ups. Early in the morning. Before work detail.

No Garmin to record those miles. A treadmill?  I doubt it.

This vision rather diminishes any discomfort or boredom on those days when ice and frigid temperatures make me see reason, opting to step on the treadmill. It offers blinking lights, measured miles, set pace, neat storage space for my water bottle. Disgruntled that my spirit can’t run free down the path along the river this day, I run the miles.  Not 7, but a few. Not years, but a day or two. Considering this, I am both in awe and feeling silly with the notion that such strength and focus can even be comprehended.
Sport – and Nelson Mandela – wil continue to inspire this runner.

Nelson Mandela, July 4 1993.

Nelson Mandela, July 4 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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8 Comments»

  Lauren Owen wrote @

Great post!!

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thank you, Lauren. And thanks for stopping by.

  runsaltrun wrote @

What an amazing and powerful post. It puts so many things into perspective. I’m feeling pretty inspired now myself. 🙂

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks, Salt. Use that inspiration well.

[…] Mandela – A Remembrance (stillarunner.com) […]

  fullmoonrunner wrote @

Thank you for this – I never realised that running was such a big part of his life too!

  Still a Runner wrote @

You’re welcome. I believe boxing was his primary sport, but as you know a jogger or runner can find a way to do it anywhere.

[…] Mandela – A Remembrance (stillarunner.com) […]


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