Run For Your Like

exhausted-runner

Running is boring. Literally painfully so. In most sports the goal is to earn points, usually with a team, in order to win against an opponent. That’s why people enjoy sports. Sports are competitive, healthy and enjoyable. However, the goal in running is to simply endure it. You just keep running until it’s time to stop. That’s it. And don’t misinterpret me, anyone who can endure the monotony of running for longer than a mile or two does deserve some kind of recognition or trophy. (Then there’s the treadmill. Keep running, but go no where? Sounds like a perfect purgatory.) Unfortunately running is extremely trendy right now, despite the fact that most of us dislike it. (How did we let that happen?) Running is so bad we’ve had to add all these little extras to make it appealing:

This run comes with color!

This run comes with color!

This run comes with glow sticks!

This run comes with glow sticks!

Do this run in a costume!

Do this run in a costume!

Run 10 miles in wet shoes!

Run in mud!

Run in foam?

Run 10 miles in wet shoes!

Running is like vanilla ice cream, it’s really only as good as the toppings you put on it. We have to trick ourselves into thinking running is fun, like a mother pretending a spoonful of sweet potatoes is an airplane to get her baby to eat it.

The worst part is we have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to run in these races. A hundred and fifty dollars to move our legs quickly in a herd of people? I just thought I could put on some shoes and go run whenever I wanted (which is never). Now I have to pay? None of this is adding up. What’s really going on here? I’d like to call my number one suspect of all dubious trends to the stand!

The almighty like.

The almighty like.

Side thought on likes:

Can you imagine if likes existed outside the virtual sphere? Likes in real life. You would have the opportunity to bestow a like on everything you saw. Additionally, every person who past by you would also have the opportunity to give you a like, and make the conscious choice to not bother. Awful. That’s what’s happening in social media. We vulnerably put things out there, while most people casually bypass it, looking for something more worthy of their like. Unfortunately for many people these days, a moment is measured not by how much you liked it, but by how much others “liked” it for you. Ever witnessed a mediocre moment turn into something spectacular by receiving so many likes you were convinced the moment was actually better than it was? (“Wow, 60 likes? It really was an amazing day, huh?”) Putting stuff out there to be liked the way we do feels a lot like a child, “Hey mom check out this trick! Do you like it?…Watch this, it’s me doing something…Do I look pretty today?… Do you think that joke I just told was funny?…Look! I just finished a race!… Do you think that’s cool? Do you? DO YOU?! VALIDATE ME!!”

Maybe the almighty like isn’t the one to blame for the running trends and gimmicks. Maybe people participate in these marathons, half-marathons, and 5K races for health, wellness, and personal satisfaction. Great! Good for them. But before you determine you are that great of a person, how about a moment of honesty first? Ask yourself this: if you had to sign a confidentiality agreement before paying, signing up, training, and participating in one of these races, promising never to tell anyone you did it, or post anything about it on social media, would you still do it?

I’m not here to judge. In fact, in two hours I will go running in order to train for a triathlon. This isn’t a clever closing; I’m dead serious. And the only thing I can do to help me endure all the running is hope that in the end I will be a little healthier, a little hotter, and get at least 40 likes. Otherwise, I’m asking for my money back.

3 thoughts on “Run For Your Like

  1. i feel ya. i’ve given up on running lately because i feel like it’s not even the best workout bang for buck wise. i’m not a zumba fan, but i think i’d take a zumba class over doing a half marathon again. and your whole thought process on the likes. yes. nailed it. our poor children, the world they will grow up in…

  2. Willing to bet that there would be less than half as many people who would run marathons if they just made one rule change: You can’t tell anyone you are training for a marathon and you can’t ever tell anyone you have run one. That rule would pretty much end marathons.

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