Can I Be Frank?: Running is Stupid

With the Marathon approaching I am dusting off this one for your reading pleasure. The subject of the Marathon has become a very touchy subject due to the tragedies of 2013, but let’s try to bring a little levity and some laughs to the whole subject of running.
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March running martial art23, 2012

With The Boston Marathon just around the corner I wanted to offer a comprehensive review of the “sport” of running.

I can sum it up in 3 words: Running is stupid.

Whew. I feel better just writing those words down.

Let me backtrack a little bit. Running, for the purpose of exercise and general health is, I suppose, a positive and productive activity. Of course, running improves your cardio-vascular health, relieves anxiety, and certainly keeps the pounds off. But guess what, I don’t care. Running – just for the sake of running – is stupid.
Think back to when you were a kid. You ran for reasons. You were playing tag. You were running in a race against your friends. You were playing (real) sports. You were running from your Dad because you opened your big, sarcastic mouth one too many times (maybe that was just me?).
But, to run just…’because’. I’m all set.

Well, I can already hear the “BOOs” from all of you running rebels that live and breathe this horrific hobby. Several of my closest friends and family members love running and a few have even completed marathons. My Dad, my cousin, my college roommate to name a few. Listen, good for you guys! Congratulations! WOO HOO! Job well done! Yippie!

Running is stupid.

Which brings me to a more specific aspect of running; marathon running. Are you freaking kidding me? Why on God’s green earth would ANYONE want to run a marathon? Anyone? Bueller? Come on! Forget the actual act of running a marathon. I can almost understand the satisfaction of having thousands of fans cheer for you as you trudge through 26.2 grueling miles. I get that. But, how about the incredible amount of training and preparation that goes into it all? No thanks. Months of work. Millions of miles (maybe not millions, but it’s called alliteration, folks). Hundreds of hours of your time.

Really, people? Sore muscles. Achy joints. Bloody nipples. Odd bowel movements.

Wow, that sounds fantastic…where do I sign up?

OK, bring on the counterpoint, Bill Rogers and Uta Pippig. I’m waiting.

“Running alleviates my stress.”

“I don’t feel right unless I get a run in.”

“If you have never experienced a runner’s high, then you should not give your opinion.”

Too late and here it is: Running is stupid.

Well, I think I have clearly relayed my standpoint on the subject, but I am going to offer you a chance to get back at me. Perhaps there is a more personal reason for out-of-the-blue attack on all of you jogging jackasses?

I started running this week.

Yes, yes…I know. Laugh all you like. Not sure what inspired me to start this week. Possibly because of the 87 pounds of corned beef and cabbage and 105 pints Guinness I have ingested over the past few weeks. Could be that I have been lacking any exercise program in my life for a while. Entirely feasible that I was feeling guilty that my wife has recently decided to taking up jogging with the rest of you imbosiles. Could be all of the above? Doesn’t really matter, but I woke up earlier this week and took to the street.

Mrs. C.I.B.F. leaves for work at 6:00AM and, with a busy day ahead; I knew I should just get this out of the way early. So, at 5:32, I laced up the Asics and hit the road.

I began my first jog in a very long time at a slow and steady pace. I am not looking to break any records. I have no goal or end game in mind. I am simply out here to feel a little better about my health and possibly drop my blood pressure down to a normal range. What I soon learned was that it would not be the actual act of running that would cause me issue; but rather…panic.

As I made my first turn down a side street I realized how damn dark it is at that time of day strictly reserved for the newspaper kid and insomniacs. Suddenly, I felt an overcoming sense of fear. A dog (90% positive it was Cujo) barked from its yard and I nearly jumped up a tree like a Tom & Jerry episode. I smelled something? Oh God, it’s a skunk. Where is it? Christ, he is going to spray me right in the face! Who‘s that coming at me? Crap! I bet it’s a serial kill….nope; it’s another one of you stupid joggers.

“Hey man” I huffed at him like a 80 year old, chain-smoking asthmatic as I am trying to play the role of neighborhood Kenyon. I was completely thrown off my game. All of these distractions and empty fears were actually adding stress to this supposed stress-reducing activity. My pulse was not racing from the intense aerobic workout. It was because clearly there was a madman (or a blood thirsty, rabid animal) tracking me through the neighborhood. A Boogey Man (quite possibly Boogey Men?) was surely on my tail. That I know for a certainty.

Before I knew it, I was actually sprinting – not jogging – in one direction; back towards home. I am not going to risk my life over this silly pastime. I will not be maimed by some psycho or wildebeest for the love of this game. Just not worth it. I have a family to think about for crying out loud.

And there ends another chapter of my storied athletic career. Sneakers are retired. Wind pants are doing just that; blowing in the wind. I am hitting the proverbial showers for good.

Running is stupid.

Best of luck to all you marathoners!

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One thought on “Can I Be Frank?: Running is Stupid

  1. This was liberating because it was the flat-out unadulterated pure distilled truth. But there’s a little more to it. I don’t want to knock the poor schlub who is trying to prevent an early trip to St. Patrick’s, so he’s only going to Five Guy’s once a week and doing a couple laps around the block. Good for him. That’s a valiant course correction of the Good ship “Cardio-Crisis” and he is to be commended for the attempt.
    But if there is a bigger more self-absorbed chronically narcissistic anal retentive asshole on the planet than the long distance runner I have yet to meet him. They run alone because nobody want to be anywhere near them. A team sport? Are you kidding? The idea of diluting their superior athleticism by playing with others is anathema to the runner.
    You meet one of these guys at a work event or a summer cookout and before your hand is back by your side from the obligatory shake, he’s telling you about his training regimen and how he’s hoping to beat his personal best as long as his bone spurs don’t flare-up again. He’s going through his running resume – this marathon, that 10K and now I’m training for New York blah blah self-absorbed blah.
    Then there’s the shoes. Nike, named after the Greek Goddess of victory. Ascis, an acronym for some Latin phrase that means “I am the to be awed and worshipped” Reebok is `the word for Antelope in some third world country. How much more pretentious can you get?
    But here’s where the runner separates himself from the merely conceited. They’re at mile 23 of a marathon. All that pasta they ate last night combined with the sheer exertion and fluid imbalance and these depleted divas evacuate their bowels in front of thousands of people and they’re proud of it! They consider it a testament to their tenacity! “I left it all on the course!” they’ll say, beaming with self-adulation and praise.
    The dude jogging the two blocks won’t be in the office Tuesday morning boring the crap out of his co-workers about how he got beat by a dozen Ethiopians while offering excruciating detail about each blister he now has.
    He’ll just have friends. And his digni

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