A few months ago I read a piece in the New York Times about a woman who ran many marathons throughout her life. On her death bed she turned to her husband and said, “I understand now why we do it, why we run.” Puzzled her husband replied, “Why?” She answered, “Because we can.”

I’ve been thinking about that a lot for the last few days. Because we can. While we are healthy and able bodied, we must move about as much as possible. When my mother was hospitalized for the last few years of her life, I would go to see her almost every day. I traveled by bus two hours each way, and started my illustration career by her bedside, using her phone to talk to art directors and using the hospital fax machine to send rough illos. I recall trying to “give the impression” that I was working in my studio when talking on the phone, when in reality I was trying to feed my mother terrible puréed hospital food. It was challenging at times. And every day that I would leave the hospital I thought, “I must enjoy this fresh air, this sunset, this rain, this snowstorm, this movement, for every person in this hospital who cannot.”

And i still remember this feeling thirteen years later. And on my runs I do not think too much about distance or trying to be good at it, or perfecting something. I just want to feel my muscles and my lungs and breathe the fresh air and feel the ground under my feet (I wear barefoot shoes so it’s as close to shoeless as possible).

Keri Smith is always so clear and dead-on. She never holds anything back. This is how I feel about yoga too: not trying to be good or achieve every posture perfectly. I just want to be aware of every single part of my body and to feel alive in every cell until I am tired.

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