Dr. George Sheehan and play

Back in the early 90’s when I was training and running marathons, I discovered the writings of Dr. George Sheehan.  Sheehan was a cardiologist, runner, author, and a philosopher.  His books were more than just books about running.  When he wrote, he painted a picture describing the meaning of life, and he used running as his paintbrush.  Through his books and articles, he introduced me to the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.  This eventually lead to my visit to Concord Massachusetts and Walden Pond many years later.

Sheehan wrote nine books.  He also was a writer for Runners World magazine.  When I read non-fiction books (which is pretty much all I read), I always underline anything that I feel is important.  While reading his books, I would end up underlining almost every sentence.  He provided so many golden nuggets of wisdom.  A constant theme in his books and articles was the importance of individuals finding their play.  Whatever that may be.

In 1992, George Sheehan was the keynote speaker the night before the Marine Corps Marathon.  This was a year before he past away from prostate cancer.  I’m glad I had a chance to see my role model.

By 1994, I had run five marathons and tons of smaller races.  I stopped running the next year, and didn’t start back until 2011.  I walked two marathons a few years earlier, but  in 2012, I ran the Hatfield McCoy Marathon.  This was my first marathon since 1994.  Eighteen years later!  During those eighteen years, I would occasionally read Dr Sheehan’s books.   Months before the Hatfield McCoy Marathon, I re-read one of his books.  It was like he was speaking to me.  I think he was…

I found this TED TALK video by his son Tim Sheehan.  The title is “Get Into Your Play-Wisdom From George Sheehan”—It’s all play…



About insaneDon

Don Carpenter is a Massage Therapist and the co-owner of Angel Dolfyn Massage. He is a marathoner and ultra-marathoner. His hobbies include running, reading, listening to music, and biking. He's been married to Adamy Diaz since 1999 and since then has been adopted by 4 cats. Don's very complex philosophy is: "It's all play!"

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