As endurance athletes, why are we ridiculed, questioned, and the butt of so many jokes when we are probably doing what all of society SHOULD be doing???
|Mmmmmm ... Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger!|
Maybe it's different for women, but these are a few of the top comments I usually get when someone finds out I run marathons...
- "Are you FREAKIN' CRAZY?"
- "Are you terminally ill, you're too skinny?"
- "Didn't you hear, you can actually drive 26 miles now?"
- "You're not gonna be able to walk when you're old!"
- "Nice shorts Lance Armstrong!"
- "Run Forrest!"
- "You ran 10 what ... MILES???"
- "I've got better things to do!"
- "Go ahead and run, I'm gonna sleep!"
- "Running's for girls!"
The interesting juxtaposition of these two athletes is that the over-weight football player is a snap-shot of where we are as a nation, and the endurance athlete is an example of where we probably SHOULD be. I love the show "The Biggest Loser". I love the stories at the end about how getting in shape changed these lives and gave them so much more self-confidence. These are beautiful people, with beautiful stories. But their self-worth is hidden or even destroyed under the pounds and years of abuse to their bodies. The cruel hard fact is, it should have never gotten this far. There are obviously many reasons people end up on this show including uncontrollable health issues. However, many of them are simply the result of habits and behavior born out of what is pushed, advertised, and accepted as normal in our society. It's almost like they are victims. We are a society of over-sized happy meals, deep-fried everything, and sugar-coated comfort food. For crying out loud, one of the top sellers at county fairs this summer was the Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger ... huh???
I shouldn't be laughed at when I order a salad at lunch. I shouldn't hear snickers when someone asks me how far I ran this morning. And I shouldn't have to be embarrassed when running through an intersection in running tights! (Well okay, even as a runner I still think those things look RIDICULOUS!) Our quest for fitness should be held in higher regard. Our pursuit of good health without pills or magic potions should be the rule, not the exception.
But as most of you can attest on a daily basis - we don't do this for public acknowledgement or acclaim. We do it for the sense of accomplishment. We do it because we physically feel better than ever. WE DO IT BECAUSE WE ARE RUNNERS! And no matter how much society tries to throw a wet towel on our journey, we won't be stopped. Good luck with your training, and be encouraged that when I see you running, I think - man, that's awesome!
Be great today!