Spiridon n°1 - avril 1972

Spiridon n°1 - April 1972



They speak with their bare legs and arms...

Running, a direct extension of walking, is the most natural physical activity that can be found! No accessories, no artifice: the man, in the race, is alone with his body, his soul and his spirit. No other situation succeeds in freeing him more surely from daily futilities, from contingencies, from burdens of all kinds. For a few hours, he is free and he remakes the world!

The enjoyment is much greater for him than that experienced by the rider or the racer, because it does not come to him from a foreign body which, sooner or later, can escape the control of his will. His musculoskeletal system, his vehicle, not only does he hear it, not only does he feel it, but he also experiences it with intensity, to the accelerated rhythm of his heart. Each of his. movements, each of his reactions, he “thinks” them in his flesh. Stride after stride, he accompanies the evolution of the blister which forms under his foot; he fears the tendinitis which will cause him to suffer for months; it follows the cramp which slowly rises in the calf and the point which awakens on the side, at the level of the liver. When the course continues and the sun shines its rays on the marathon route, he is surprised by the tingling that stiffens his arms and the shivers that ruffle his skin. All this, no one but him knows. It's his business! It is his fear and his hope, his suffering and his pleasure; It’s his loneliness!

Over the miles, the runner rediscovers what is most precious to man: the awareness of unity, in which soul, body and spirit merge! No one better than him, at this moment, manages to dominate matter more surely, and often, he thus gives back to poetry what it lacks in spontaneity, to philosophy what it lacks in truth!

And deep inside these elements hums the passion, which makes life worth living! During these hours when the runner goes to the ends of the world, under the haggard eye of "normal" people, humanity sleeps, eats and kills! He, with each step he balances smoothly, he feels the earth rising in his veins and his movement resembles a prayer; The more he advances, the more his confidence, wavering for a moment, strengthens! He speaks with his bare legs and arms! Sweat covers his face with transparent beads; his eyes look straight ahead...

The effort lights a little fire in the pit of his stomach, yet it is not a suffering like any other: he maintains this one, he learns it, he trains himself for it. But the circle has come full circle. The runner finds his clothes loaded with complacency, accommodation and compromise!

"As soon as he is in his shirt," says Jean Prévot, "he feels modesty taking over him and he hides behind the foliage. When his clothes have taken hold of him at the neck, under the arms, at the waist, he sets off on the road pressing his heels like a clothed man. His body becomes mute again and his lips prepare for words!”

Do you understand why the "crazy" runners are multiplying and carry a certain flame in their eyes that makes them recognize each other in the street? It's not just for health!

Yves Jeannotat