Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a long narrative without a plot shot over a period of 12 years from 2002-2013. The cast met a few weeks each year to shoot the movie. Major actors contributed to the story as director Linklater really didn’t have an established story line. He simply wanted to chronicle what kids do, what they feel, what they have to deal with growing up.
Mason and older sister Samantha grew up with single mother Olivia, played by Patricia Arquette. Absentee Dad is our favourite, Ethan Hawke. Just like the Sunrise movies, we see Ethan transform over a period of 12 years! Imagine that. I am a big fan of Ethan’s movie projects. According to Wikipedia, Richard Linklater told Ethan to finish the film if the former died before the movie finished production.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. For months now, I have been trying to pin down the single dominant reason for my running obsession. Oh I have a long laundry list of all the reasons that come to mind.
It’s my therapy, it’s my protein shake.
I run when i am happy, I run when i am sad.
It is painful, it is joyful.
It fulfills me, it drains me.
It is an outpouring of all emotions.
It is my prayer, yet I curse every kilometer.
It is freedom, it is my form of suffering.
Because to suffer is to grow and to transform.
Running gives me physical strength.
It gives me supernatural powers to cope and to fend.
You know what, to be very very honest, the above is all blustery flappity-fluff!
None of them represent one single dominant reason!
Then, while watching Boyhood, it hit me! It’s very simple really. I found one core reason where all of the above stems from.
And that is ~
Running is a thing that is all mine. I do it not because someone told me to, or society expected it of me. You see, I go to work to pay the bills, I have to cook so the kids don’t starve, I have to vacuum because we can’t roll around in a pigsty, I have to do the laundry else there will be nothing to wear, I have to brush my teeth or my breathe will stink, I have to watch a movie to relax, I have to drink wine to unwind, I have to eat to live…
But run? I don’t have to run. No one will die if I don’t run. No one gets hungry. No one gets hurt, no one is happy, no one expects me to run.
I run because I want to. I make running goals because I WANT TO!
I run for ME! It’s all mine, this running. I can stop anytime. I can be slow, I can be fast. I can run anywhere, maybe not anytime but certainly I have ABSOLUTE CONTROL of my legs, my feet, and my body. No one dictates. I am the master. I am the captain.
And this is the single glorious reason why runners run!
“All those who feel their lives have been hijacked by work, technology or societal expectation. They too can break free from the herd and run free.” – Dr. George Sheehan, Running and Being
So I guess I am breaking free!
Near the end of the movie, Patricia Arquette’s character Olivia lamented ~
Olivia sobs (to Mason who is leaving for college): “This is the worst day of my life. I knew this day would come, except why is it happening now? First I get married, have kids, end up with two ex-husbands (who are both losers), go back to school, get my degree, get my masters, send both my kids off to college. What’s next? My own fucking funeral? I just thought it would have been better.”
At which point I whispered to the hubby “She should take up running!”