Select Page


If and when we build that fortress around our run(s)…it’s not exactly how that song by Sting goes, is it? I know, fortress around your heart, fortress around your run. Very similar because we do run with and for our hearts, souls, bodies. But we could sing that song that way while we run. Hint hint.

Lately, I’ve been running by a lot of very creative artistic snow creations including forts (snowmen of course, too). But the forts have really gotten my attention. Yesterday I was running on Wilderness Ridge Golf Course and encountered a large round igloo-shaped open-faced fort with an American flag on it. I almost ran right into it on the trail because the snow made it difficult to see and sense where the cartpath ends and where the fort began.


After snapping a few photos of it, I realized that perhaps it was not a snow fort after all. Perhaps it was actually a running fortress or sanctuary, an oasis in the desert, protection from the unkind wintry weather gusts, snow and ice that I am running in so much this week. Then I realized that we all have an internal running fortress deep within us waiting to be activated or lit, a hidden strength, a source of inspiration and runspiration. It’s like a combustible fireplace/fire source or a portable torch that we can call upon in the dead of winter when cold, dreary, harsh winds, snow, ice, and sleet can pelt us and weary us, inducing us to want to hibernate. Rest we must but hibernation for humans doesn’t really work as well as it does for some animals. Yes, dogs nap a lot but they don’t really hibernate: that’s more of just a calm, relaxed state. Sometimes we humans need power naps too if we don’t get enough sleep at night.

And of course we all need adequate and healthy nutrition, hydration, and safe running gear, even for constantly-changing weather conditions that are challenging to say the least.

When I saw another running fortress today, it just further reinforced this idea and theme and sparked and fortified an exciting sense of fortress creativity.


So I made a few Periscope videos to try to write, develop, unpack and reveal what running fortress theory is and what it should entail. I quickly realized that chaos, chaos theory, and adversity were in serious tension, perhaps polar opposites of the running fortress that each of us should try to create in order to be a bold, strong, courageous athlete, making the most of our strengths. Enjoy!

Let me know what you think of my running fortress theory, will be developing it further in the future. How do you handle chaos, adversity, and all the things that go wrong? Do you turn to your running fortress or sanctuary in your run happy place? For me for example, I visit the Bahamas in my memory/imagination: Caribbean stress management. It relaxes me, drops my heart rate and slows down my breathing. If you don’t like tropical climates, pick a different place or places where you can retreat. If I need someplace close and real that feels like a faraway fortress, I retreat to Wilderness Ridge Golf Course and run by the lodge there (the lodge is up on a hill so it’s like a rustic ski lodge-like version of a runner’s Mount Olympus). Or you can just lace up your running shoes and GO!