Running in the Pandemic: The Success of the Infinite Game

In his book The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek, pontificates about the differences between the finite game (one which has set rules and a scoreboard), and the Infinite Game (which is flexible and looks at the big picture).

During this pandemic, there is a great many runners/racers/people in general who are extremely frustrated with the lack of competitive opportunities at this time. Without the chance to compete, without the chance to see yourself in relation to the/their scoreboard, the process gets fuzzy and sometimes not so motivating. Because they often see themselves in relation to the scoreboard, this time can be frustrating and even depressing.

On the other hand, because I cannot compete even if I wanted to at this moment, I have no such expectations of my running, and haven’t for sometime. Within the non-confines of that mentality, I am able to flourish in this environment. Without question, I have done my best running of the last few years in these past three months and feel little other than optimism about the coming weeks/months/year. I have no small picture other than the individual run and the big picture has endless boundaries.

By the way, this doesn’t make me better, smarter, or anything than anyone else, I’m just settled into a different perspective. Would I actually like to be getting ready for a fall marathon right now? YOU BET! That however is not in the cards in the foreseeable future until my impending knee replacement and LOOOONG recovery. So maybe I am better able to roll with the pandemic punches because it’s the only place I fit. 

I have to confess, however, that I am more comfortable in the infinite game anyway. I see my life as mine and yours as yours. In order for me to have something, it doesn’t mean that you get nothing. I like to think the glass is half full for everyone, if you know what I mean, or if you choose to see it that way. The beauty of that philosophy, too, is that it doesn’t leave a place for jealousy, envy, and all of the crappy self image issues that go with those things.

Anyway, the running has been pretty good the last two weeks. 52 miles last week led to 53 this week, and as I write this I am sitting at 900 even for the year. I had pictured this all going much differently. As I am losing weight, I am having less problems with my knee. As I have fewer knee problems, the more I enjoy being out there, and the spiral goes UP!

So, I hope your running is bringing you whatever it is you’d like in this very weird time. I’d like to think things will be more normal soon.

Until then, run on.