I just read this blog...and I want to share it with you. Not because it's inspiring, but because it's hurtful and harmful and just plain rude.
The author is complaining that "fools" who run marathons annoy him every year. Apparently, he and his idiot friend believe that running a marathon doesn't make you an athlete. He states, "Marathons are the last refuge for those that couldn't cut it in other sports."
We don't say that basketball players only chose that sport because they couldn't cut it in football. I'll be honest--I can't cut it in sports that require coordination. I could never manage to serve a volleyball overhand or make a basket when playing basketball. But I am dynamite at sports that require endurance. I can run, swim, or ride a bike for hours. I have pure pig-headed stubbornness unlike you've ever seen. Just because I suck at team sports doesn't make me less of a competitor at what I do well.
The author does make an exception for elite marathoners in the top 500 or so, because they're actually competing to win. That's nice. But what' about those on a consistently baseball team aren't athletes because they have no shot at actually winning? You can't tell me that running a marathon (or a half marathon or a 5k or even WALKING a half like my mom did) isn't a competition. Sure, I never expected to win, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't spending over 4 hours trying to do my personal best and fighting through weakness.
McButt Head (or Dave Hollander) says people who run are narcissists, who demand attention for their exercise. Ok, ok...I'll admit that I was a little proud of myself this whole marathon thing. But, dammit, I spent 4-5 months training for this race every day and I deserve to be a little proud. That's actually more time than I spent planning my wedding, and I expected a hell of a lot more people to care about that.
On that note....check out two people who care when I run. They made the paper!!
One final vent about the article. He said, "Kenyans run marathons because they have to. Back home there were no cars, no roads and the nearest school bus or fresh water source was 40 miles away. Their "training" is borne from the necessity to survive. That 36,500 you mentioned [meaning the non-winning competitors], they run to kill personal demons. They beat their bodies swollen and sore to fill an emptiness or quiet a cry."
Hell yes, I run to kill personal demons. That doesn't make me any less of an athlete. Running gives me the opportunity to work out these demons in a healthy fashion. And trust me...before I started running I tended to ignore said demons and quiet them with food and other self-injurious behavior. Running has become about survival to me.