Joseph Campbell was a very influential man in the world of Myth. His books Power Of Myth and The Heroes Journey have influenced many many people including Star Wars creator George Lucas. I personally have read The Power of Myth and cherish it as my most valuable book.
I came up with a quote of my own the other day while thinking about running and being a hero,
If you are looking for a hero in your life stop looking and check out the nearest mirror, It's you! Campbell says we are all on the Hero's Journey and that in order for us to feel fulfilled we need that journey. We need that transformation. All good movies and books have one or several heroes who are not the same after the book or movie is over. This is exactly the same for a new runner. Once you start the journey and step up to the plate as your own hero you are on your way to that fulfillment that Joseph Campbell spoke of. Your future self will thank you .
The Runner's Journey can be compared to any myth or hero story. Let's take for instance The Lord of The Rings. It starts in The Shire. A place of peace where there is lots of food and drink. All the inhabitants are fat and happy, I liken that to the couch life before one starts running. Then Gandalf arrives . He is the catalyst that starts the adventure. He is that idea in your head that came on New Years Day or came as a bet to a loved one or friend. He represents the idea that yes you can leave The Shire ( the sofa) and have a great adventure that will transform you forever. The Ring represents all those donuts, lazy days of doing nothing productive and the negative addictions we might have inside us. The mission to destroy the Ring is your training . The dark riders, orcs, gollum and Sauron are all the obstacles you will face on your Runner's Journey. The destruction of the Ring is race day when you conquer all those fears, doubts and lay to rest once and for all the naysayers who said you couldn't do it .