Sanctuary is one of those words I've always liked. There is so much contained in that one word.
There are many definitions of sanctuary. But the one I like best is "A place of refuge or asylum." Asylum is another word I like, Leon Russell had a group called the "Asylum Choir." And another called the "Shelter People." All of these words have a similar meaning to me, Asylum, Shelter, Sanctuary. Running is my Sanctuary. Not a physical place, but a place. I can go there other times, but running has the added benefit of lowering my resistance. Like when you stay up far beyond time to sleep, not under the influence of drugs, just going beyond time to sleep. Fasting is another way to get there. But for me, it is usually running, running beyond the comfort zone. Whether it be by pushing your speed, endurance or time limits. I run alone a lot, not so much by choice, but because I work in a place away from people of a like mind. I have never seen another runner during my weekly runs near my job. But this is fine with me. I get my communal runs on the weekend. But sometimes even that is not possible. I was out of state on business last week, and missed the club run. So I did my long run, 21 miles, alone last Easter Sunday. It was a wonderful time. I did see a lot of other runners, even a few I knew. But our paths simply crossed, and were not joined.
When I got home the house was vacant, everyone was already at church. I had promised to go, so I went. I was still in sanctuary, a place where I can be alone with myself, even among the hundreds who surrounded me.
From the Song "Million" by Paul Kantner
"And yet there were some of the men and ladies
Who remembered that in the beginning we were one
A body and one spirit in all of our bodies
Whoa... oh sanctuary
Come and sail with me ... revelation
Standing on the edge of civilization"