The Thing I Like About …

Forrest Gump: the way Tom Hanks chose to run like the little kid.

Tom Hanks patterned his movements after the actor who played his character Forrest as a little kid. Because of this, grown-up Forrest runs a little differently than other grown-ups. Why does that matter?

Well … why do grown-ups run differently than little kids?

Little kids could run for … years. They never run out of energy. They do exactly what they want, and their little bodies just pretty much do what they tell them to do. So why, when we grow up and allegedly have so much more autonomy and freedom, do we choose to change the way we do things? We try to do it a certain “way” that someone told us was the “right” way – a way that promises we’ll be going faster, or doing it better, or getting further, or whatnot. Why do we do that, when kids go so fast, and so far, and do what they want (even when it’s a bad idea, like jumping off the garage roof to see if they can fly)? Why do we decide to throw away the very things about childhood that made us value freedom and speed and running?

When grown-up Forrest runs like little-kid Forrest, he wins awards and accolades. When grown-up Forrest runs like little-kid Forrest, he becomes famous for running. He goes everywhere he wants to go. He does everything he wants to do. He experiences things that other grown-ups don’t get to experience. He basically lives the kind of grown-up life we all dream about when we’re little kids. Maybe he’s … I don’t know … on to something?

Maybe we grow up listening to “they” and doing it “right”, and we end up turning our backs on fundamental parts of ourselves. We stop running because we like it, and we start running because we feel chased – by judgment, by time, by death, by “they”.

Maybe we grow up, and we forget the simple truth: run. Run fast. Run far. Run the way that feels natural to your body, and your body will take you anywhere … like magic.

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