Both the runners live in the same area and have run the same trail every day for many years. Both love to run and both encourage others to run. Both teach beginning runners in the correct way to run and, over the years, each has developed a devoted following. One runner enjoys competition, has won many races, and now has formed a running team that competes regularly. As the team won races, the runner developed a reputation as a great running coach and other runners now come to him for instruction on how to run to win.
Winning a long race takes special techniques and specialized training. It takes many years of intense training to master the skills needed to win. Some say that to win a long race, you have to learn to face your insecurities, overcome your fears, and learn to never quit until the finish; things that develops character. However, the ultimate goal of any race is to win. Winners feel elated, while losers pledge to work even harder to win next time.
The other runner still runs the same trail as the first runner. She loves to run and to share the experience with others. She also encourages others to run and has also developed a devoted following. This runner's group runs every day; relaxing and enjoying being one with the environment. They enjoy the sights and give each other assistance during long runs. Many times they see the completive runners along the trail struggling to decease their time. They smile at the competitors but they do not understand why the competitors do not slow down and enjoy the smells of nature.
This runner does not compete and is always in front of her group giving them tips on running and encouraging them to do their best. For this runner, the ultimate goal is not the finish line, but the run itself. During a run, each runner not only increased his or her running skills, but also gained an understanding of the plants, animals, and minerals along the trail, and how they relate to each other and to the runners. They not only run, they understand the relationship between running, life, and the earth. To them running is an art and a way of life.
Now, after many years of running, both the runners are old. They still run the same trails, be it a little slower, and they still teach their different ways of running to their followers. If asked, the general public would say the two are both just runners, people who run. They do not see much difference in the way the two runners run. However, the two runners are very different. One views running as a way to win races, while the other sees running as a way of life. While they both are runners, their philosophies of running are diametrically opposed. The competitive runner can never slow down enough to enjoy the experience of running, and the other runner cannot understand why anyone would only be concerned with winning when there is so much to be gained from the run. While they both still run, sometimes together, they do not understand why the other does not change his or her way of running.