Not all that long ago, I jumped into a Facebook discussion about running. Here’s the thing about me - I get enough conversation on my own Facebook page that I try my best to limit going anywhere else and joining any other topic. The main reason is I am blunt, direct and literal. I figure if you comment on my page then you know my style and won’t get your panties in a bind by my replies. Going elsewhere negates that home-field advantage and someone with all the sensitivity of an 8 year- old girl watching a show about puppies and Justin Bieber is going to get their nose bent out of shape. Sometimes I forget that rule.
In this discussion, someone said something akin to how no runner is better in another. An obvious pandering attempt by the poster to get everyone to say “Yeah! You are so right! Everyone is the bestest winner of all times!” it annoyed me. I replied “Of course some runners are better than others. Especially if by better you mean ‘faster’.” It seemed most people got what I was saying. Of course, one person didn’t and in an effort to try and explain my point, but stick to it at the same time, it ended up as most conversations on the internet do – badly. So I decided to clarify again here.
A faster runner is a better one, at least in terms of speed. Deal with it. The faster runner may be an ass, but they are better than the slower nicer one. That is a fact. There is no room for debate. No “well, it depends on your definition of ‘better’”. I am exhausted with trying to be politically correct when it comes to discussions that involve the masses. I am not, and will never, run for political office. As such, I don’t care too much about pissing off people if it is by saying what I truly feel. The thing that attracts me to running so much, after playing team sports for most of my life, is the accountability of it all. That is why I loved swimming so much growing up as well. You versus everyone else.
For you see, if you are prepared to race, and run a certain time, and another person runs faster than you, they are a better runner than you on that day and that race. If they have a better PR than you, they are a better runner than you overall. This seems so completely intuitive that I am shocked I even need to write it. But apparently that is a must.
So again, in the world where virtually anyone who is not trying to be difficult for the sake of being difficult, realizes “better” means “faster”, some runners sure as heck are better than others. And hopefully, if you are the slower runner presently, you will be able to get better, challenge yourself and the person you are chasing, and in the end, nip them at the line.