Pandemic fatigue is real. There are so many races that we’ve missed, and for many, so many training runs as well. It has really taken some motivation to get out there and still show up for our running. I ran many marathons from out my front door in the past several months. Certainly not the same as races for this Marathon Maniac. I know we can all relate. How have you been able to dig into your well of motivation and continue to show up one foot in front of the other? This is the question I kept asking myself and it led me to dive into the idea of the archetypes and in doing so, I found a whole new inspiration for my running journey.
Who am I…really? For me, running answers this question. I am a mid-pack, middle-aged runner. I am much more than that, though. We are all complex and evolving. It takes time and a whole lot of energy to show up to life and play the roles we need to play. One way to make our lives seem bigger and more of an epic mythical journey is to think about the archetypes. The archetypal selves are either awake or asleep in us. We want to engage with all of them, accept all, so they do not go into “shadow”, as psychologist Carl Jung talks about. We must meet our shadows and integrate them into ourselves to be whole, he says. I feel like distance runners have a propensity for working with our shadow side. For me this process led me on the journey to “run with the archetypes”. I find that as I play with these archetypes, I have found a means to start to illuminate them and connect with this host of characters through running. They can broaden the scope or our lives and make our little lives seem so much bigger.
On this journey, I have been compelled to keep moving forward one step at a time, to continue my story. I did my first marathon at the age of forty, I was starting from scratch as the archetype of the Fool. I have now completed twenty six- 26.2 miles. I know now that this is something I do, it’s a part of who I am. My whole life changed perspective. Each race and even each run itself, has brought forth a different archetype. There are limitless archetypes that we can integrate into our lives, for a healthy sense of self and well-being. We relate to each of these archetypes as we embody them. They have become an important part of my own process and so I started a blog in which I am beginning to share my races on my journey at www.runningwiththearchetypes.com . I’d love for you to come play along and I’d love to hear about your journey!