Back in the day I used to play a computer game called “Wrath of the Demon”. It was broken up into distinct sections, with the first requiring your blonde hero to ride his white horse at break neck speeds along a forest road.

This part of the game rocked. Your horse galloped at a constant speed. You sat hunched up high on its back, blonde hair streaming in the wind. Obstacles would suddenly appear in the far right of the screen, and you’d have a split second to jump them. If you failed, you died. It was simple. A pure reflex thing. You’d get keyed up, scoot up close to the screen and watch for the objects. Cause if a green bottle appeared, you could cause your dude to lean down and scoop it up. Regain health! So you had to see the thing, analyze it, and react correctly. In less than a second.

But that isn’t the important part. The cool part was the background. Mountains in the far distance. Slowly edging their way across the screen. Massive old Paramount Picture style mountains. Snowy peaks. Next, closer, was forest line. This moved past quicker. Then a third stripe below the trees: a meadow. Finally, edging the path itself were a line if indistinct bushes, which moved at the same speed as you did, immediate and close.

I loved the simplicity of it all. The easy manner in which perspective was achieved. Mountains going by at a glacier speed. Forest slowly scrolling by. Meadow quicker, nearer but still passing with a slower speed. And then those bushes, whizzing by.

Get ready for a violent connection here:

That’s what I love about running. When I’m out there hitting the pavement, I sometimes raise my face to the sky. If I happen to be moving under the canopy of a large tree, I watch the branches pass overhead, each bough and twig moving at its own perfectly distinct speed. Those at the top quicker than those at the bottom, but unlike the game the whole mass is moving in relation to itself. A brilliant latice work of three dimensions, a mass of slowly resolving relationships with me as the epicenter.