By Christopher Cudworth
One simply must love a double negative. The phrase “I’m not going nowhere” for example, actually means the opposite of what we normally intend it to say.
Because if you’re not going nowhere, you’re going somewhere.
Which perfectly describes what all of us do when we run and ride. And swim. Eeks.
When you head out the door on your favorite 5-mile running loop, you’ve been there before. So you’re not going nowhere. You’re going somewhere.
But because you’re not changing destinations, you technically are going nowhere. From a Google Maps sort of perspective.
30,000 foot view
Zap yourself up to 30,000 feet like you can on Google and every run and ride we do is someplace rather nowhere. We cycle and run and swim around in little circles every day. Which is nowhere.
John Lennon had it right again when he sang: “He’s a real Nowhere Man, living in his Nowhere Land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.”
Around and around. Getting nowhere it seems. But while Lennon’s song seems to be critical of Nowhere Man, there is a positive side to going Nowhere.
Because that somewhere is a salvation of sorts. Because those who do not run or ride or swim (eeeks) are not getting the same benefits in health and mental exercise. They’re the ones who are technically going nowhere.
Going Nowhere slowly. It’s all good.
I see people who walk every day and they deserve credit too. It’s not all about speed, but motion. Going nowhere constructively is a healthy thing for all of us.
Even if we take the same route every day, as some are wont to do, there is a fine art to our nowhere wanderings. Not going nowhere is such a beautiful thing that way.
Our little journeys give us release. From stress. From worry. From sitting home doing nothing and really getting nowhere. That’s the happy tarsnake of going to the trouble of working out. We may be going nowhere, but we’re getting somewhere.
Labels for Nowhere
Then there are goals beyond getting nowhere constructively. 5K. 10K. Half marathon. Marathon. Ultra Marathon. Sprint Tri. Olympic Tri. Half Marathon 70.3. Ironman. The list goes on and on.
Recently a friend swam a 5K race in a lake in midstate Illinois and placed high. The next day she led off the swimming leg of a sprint tri. Her team won. Technically she didn’t “get” anywhere, but the nowhere she got sure felt good. Way to go Lida!
Going nowhere fast
The best nowhere I’ve ever gotten was a 10K on a 55 degree morning in Oak Park, Illinois. From the moment the gun went off starting the race I knew I was going to win. I’d worked it all out in my head and was fit as could be. I raced through the streets with the effort fully imagined, but all new. There were puddles reflecting the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture for which the race was named. I moved across this world of dual imagery as if it were everywhere I wanted to be. Crossing the line first was definitely as nowhere as one could ever want.
Imagining Nowhere. What do you want it to be?
It’s our memories and imaginations, you see, that make not going nowhere so beautiful. Memories of past runs and rides, and imaginations of what it will be like to move again across the landscape of the nowheres that mean so much to each of us.
We’re not going nowhere together, you and I. And it feels nice.