OK, you wrote an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal (online). Get over it.
In case you missed it, the apparently (and unsurprisingly jowly), Chad Stafko, wrote an article about runners getting over themselves.
I saw it and immediately knew runners would (mostly rightfully) get
upset upon reading the piece. But I wanted to read it with an open mind
and see if he had any valid points. I looked hard and I found a few.
a doubt, there are runners out there who run specifically to get
attention. They want the medals and the accolades and the facebook
pictures to post. Granted, they are far outnumbered by those who do not
seek to only run for attention and not the other way around as Mr.
Stafko tries to concede in his “OK, I know, this isn't the case for all
But here’s the thing, Mr. Stafko.
Let’s say that these people are only about getting attention through
running. They somehow need to be reaffirmed by their friends and family
because of some need or desire to feel like they have achieved. Let’s
say this is the one and only reason they are out there running. The ONLY
thing they want is that bumper sticker to show off their running
prowess. In this scenario I am taking your diatribe and amplifying it
to the nth degree. There can be nothing else in their intentions except
the wanton need for the pat on the back. To which, I say, so?
a splendid way to be narcissistic! Bettering their own health by being
active. Lowering the cost of health care by doing their part not to be
sick. Taking up less space and consuming less natural resources by
exercising solely by locomotion. And that is the WORST case scenario!
is a slightly better case scenario? Maybe these people are overcoming
an addiction and this is how they deal with those cravings. Maybe they
are trying to put behind them the loss of a loved one and this is the
way they cope. Perhaps they are trying to inspire others to chase their
own dreams and leave behind the naysayers who don’t believe they can do
things on their own.
You ask “Why would someone want to
get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles adorned with fluorescent tape to
avoid being struck by someone who has the good sense to use a car for a
10-mile journey?” which misses the point on so many levels.
1. I hate getting up at 5 a.m. to go for a run. I avoid it at all costs. I run in the afternoon or the evening. Or whenever.
2. Nevertheless, some people have to run then as that is when they can fit it into their life with a job, children, etc.
3. Regardless of what time they are running it is not to get from Point A to Point B in the quickest way possible or they would take the car. Instead, the “journey” has a multitude of actual reasons other than traversing the distance.
obviously, I like running. But I didn’t always. Football is my
favorite sport. I boxed Golden Gloves. I played rugby in college. You
know, all those real man sports. Then I begrudgingly took up running.
Didn’t like it right away. Actually, I loathed it. Then I realized how
freeing and wonderful it is. I found a niche. I travelled the world.
And now I get to use my sport to better people directly and indirectly.
say it is easy to spot the runners? Perhaps. They are often the ones
with grey hair and wrinkled skin from years of exploring the world
outdoors. They are the heavy ones who used to be much heavier. They are
the thin ones, the muscular ones, the old and the young, the people who
are living life vicariously through themselves. In other words, they
I’d mail you a copy of my book so you
could see what I mean but apparently reading about running is the
equivalent to masturbation. One thing we definitely need less in this
world is people reading. Egads!
Here’s the thing: the only thing runners really need to get over is the next hill. Come join us, Chad.