Misogi Harai

In the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Marathon & Beyond magazine, Theresa Daus-Weber interviews legendary ultrarunner Eric Clifton in an article titled "Mr. Consistency". Eric tells how, after feeling bad at mile 26 of one of his first ultras (a 50 miler on Massanutten Mountain) he ate and drank and then:

... To my amazement, in about a mile I felt a surge of energy and took off. I felt like I had just started running and was able to push all the way to the finish for a top 10 placing, even beating my crew to the finish. But the placing was just icing on the cake. What hooked me on ultrarunning was that burst of vitality and the joy I felt running hard to the finish. That feeling of freedom was and continues to be priceless. There is a Japanese term I think is very appropriate for what I strive for in ultras, misogi harai, which roughly translates to: spiritual enlightenment through physical action. ...

^z - 2008-02-11

(correlates: Eric Clifton on the Fellowship of Ultrarunning, Flow Like a River, Ted Corbitt, ...)