Wednesday, November 13, 2013

OK, You're a Runner. Get Over It: The Reading Between the Lines Edition

First things first: read this piece from the Wall Street Journal, if you can stomach it.

Now, before I mourn the death of journalism, I'd like to uncover the subtext of Mr. Chad Stafko's enlightened take on the running community:

I'm Not a Runner. Did You Hear Me? Not. A. Runner.
Because being bitter and scornful of people I don’t know is hard enough without also having to write 800 words of pure drivel on the subject.

I live in a small Midwestern town, so naturally I'm a salt-of-the-earth Real American who is sick and tired of people in town slapping those pesky "26.2" and "13.1" bumper stickers all over their cars. Can you believe these people? It's like they're proud of their accomplishments or something. I would congratulate them but not only is that beneath me, I'm far too busy trying to eat a donut and write this article while I'm driving.

Almost every day I see people doing things that I'm not willing to do: actually get out of the car, feel the road beneath my feet, work up a sweat, appreciate a beautiful view. I couldn't possibly sound more resentful of someone else's enjoyment than I do right this very second.

Please allow me to throw in some running statistics that contradict the point I'm trying to make; I'm hoping you won't check my math and that I can pass off a 2.5 million increase in running event finishers in a two-year period as evidence that the popularity of running is not increasing. Smooth, huh?

Know what else grinds my gears? The fact that the publishing industry caters to these runners, as if they're an actual demographic or something. Stop validating their existence with your silly magazines! I mean, who wants to read about running? Of course, the irony that I am, in fact, writing about running is completely lost on me.

But forget the magazines; the running stores are even worse. Imagine a shop that caters to a very specific type of customer—what is this? THIS IS NOT AMERICA. Oh, and according to my extensive research, it's just clothes and shoes. You know, similar to every other activity in existence, only that clothes and shoes designed for running are STUPID.

Lets compare apples and oranges for a minute and ask why someone would run 10 miles when they could use a car to cover the same distance; it's a dumb comparison but I'm going to beat my running-is-pointless drum anyway and promote the idea that if you don't burn fossil fuels and pollute the air each and every time you leave the house YOU ARE A COMMUNIST.

My grand theory and the non-point of this pointless article is that runners run for one reason and one reason only: to piss me off. Runners love to venture outside and deliberately rub their fitness in my face. No runner has ever gone for a run purely for enjoyment, or for any other reason; just like no freelance writer has ever projected their profound insecurities onto an entire group of people to make a deadline.


In conclusion: I am not fit. I resent people who are fit, and I have an ax to grind with runners in particular. I'm going to take my fee from writing this article and spend it on a bumper sticker bragging about my non-fitness. The end.

Knock yourself out, pal.