I read this article last night after seeing it posted on Facebook. Its tagline is: “Running a marathon is hard enough without also patting yourself on the back every step of the way.”
People have commented on the article and on Facebook saying people shouldn’t even bother responding because it is only spreading the author’s piece to a wider audience. But I did want to respond, because I want people to see my side (a runner) of things, especially those who may not share my passion (and I have a lot of friends who don’t) but may read his article.
He basically writes about how people only run marathons and half marathons to boast about it and put those 26.2 and 13.1 stickers on their car. Yes, I have those stickers, because I ran a freakin’ half and a full marathon, I think it’s certainly something to boast about! But to say that people train for 5-6 months solely for a sticker is absurd.
Runners train for many reasons. We train to feel fit. We train because it’s a stress reliever. We train because we want to compete against ourselves. We train to get over hardships. I don’t know of any runner who runs day in and day out, or trains for a marathon or half marathon solely to brag about it.
“But the clothes—well, that’s a different story. Many of the shirts on the racks have running logos, motivational slogans and images of stick people running.
Like the 26.2 and 13.1 bumper stickers, this apparel serves a clear purpose: We can look at them and immediately know that the person wearing it is a runner—perhaps even an accomplished one.”
I like buying these clothes with quotes on the front because it motivates me. I also see plenty of people at the gym who LIFT and don’t run wearing this type of clothing. What’s wrong with wanting to buy clothes that motivate you as soon as you put them on?
“I have a theory. There is no more visible form of strenuous exercise than running. When runners are dashing down a street in the middle of town or through a subdivision, they know that every driver, every pedestrian, every leaf-raker and every person idly staring out a window can see them.
These days, people want more than ever to be seen.”
So basically, we should stick to working out in the gym, because if we exercise outdoors, it’s only because we want attention?
I run because I like being outside and feeling the different seasons. I love feeling the heat and humidity in the summer. I love seeing my breath in the winter. I like that you need no equipment to run outside. All you need is your body. What’s wrong with that?
I suppose what bothered me about this article is that it lumps all runners together, stating that we all just want attention. Yes, I’ve been told by my boyfriend that I post too much about my running on my Instagram or Twitter (he isn’t a runner), but on the flip side, I have gotten so many inspiring comments from followers, as well as tips and advice from fellow runners. We are a community of people who help each other, and the same can be said for any fitness related community (lifting, CrossFit, spin, fitness in general).
I never post things because I want to brag and get a “like.” I certainly don’t run for that either…trust me, there are many days where I hate running and being out there.
And time out, runners are the only one posting on Facebook? What about statuses or tweets about “I’m going to the gym,” “I squatted X amount today!” etc. etc. Those don’t bother me at all, and sometimes they even motivate me to get my butt to the gym. What’s so bad about that?
It’s like, you can’t win. If we don’t exercise, people write about how lazy/obese America is becoming. When there is a running boom in the US and more runners than ever who are being active, people write about how they only do it for attention.
Update: You need to read this hilarious rebuttal by Runner’s World.
What are your thoughts on the article? I’d love to hear them!
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