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Anyone else get a little irritated by that Wall Street Journal opinion article, OK, You're a Runner. Get Over It by Chad Stafko? It irked me enough to write a response to it on my blog titled "Dear Chad Stafko: Ok, we're happy to be runners. Get over it."
Part of me is annoyed that I'm sharing his article, but part of me wants to make sure that other people who are wearing their race t-shirts to Starbucks (heaven forbid) aren't worried about offending anyone.
If you run, thanks for running - go ahead and be proud of it. You're making the world a better place by taking care of your health, improving your mood, and inspiring others.
Chad Stafko can keep sitting on the couch being annoyed that other people around him are visibly happier and more accomplished.
Am I right?
I write a running blog geared towards other new runners at http://www.iamrunningthis.com!
Couch to 5K graduate, September 2012
First 10K, June 2nd, 2013
First Half Marathon, September 2013
Sitting on the couch is a pretty accurate description; I just saw a photo of the guy on a different site and that dude is definitely in need of running a few miles.
Assuming that Mr. Stafko is serious and not just writing tongue-in-cheek, I'd say he's simply jealous of people who take the time and effort to stay in shape and do something good for themselves.
As for runners supposedly craving attention...HAHA. I've been running for 30 years and most of my miles are either on quiet suburban streets or at a university gym where no one is paying any particular attention to me, except sometimes a polite nod or smile as I pass by. And I couldn't care less. If I wanted to show off physical activity, hey, I live in Los Angeles and I'd go down to Venice Beach to do my thing. (If you live anywhere near Los Angeles, you know what I mean).
And as for wearing race T-shirts to Starbucks...I wear mine just about anywhere one would wear a T-shirt, and I've never received a negative comment in 30 years.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44
So true "Mr. Stafko appears to be attacking something that we all love. But I think the backlash against the author is misguided. Why? Because the language he's using, while it appears to be English, isn't. The language he's using is Bizarre Angry Rant. This is common for writers of opinion pieces at certain publications. They favor B.A.R. because it's simple, requiring little to no thought, so you can write stuff fast. The downside, of course, is that the resulting prose is often shaky and incoherent. And angry-sounding."
I was really not too offended by the column, some people just do not get it, but that is not really a problem for me.
One thing that did make me laugh, though, was the sentence:
someone who has the good sense to use a car for a 10-mile journey
I liked this because it is a reaction that surpresed me at first but have met an amazing number of times. Non-runners often mistake running for transportation.
For example I once told my mum that some day I wanted to run from the plane where I live now to the place where my parents live (the distance is about 12 miles). Her answer was "but we can come pick you up whenever you want!" . In other occasions, friends have made similar observations. Of course just after saying it they just realise it is nonsense, but it got me wondering about why the thought pops in their minds at all.
My answer so far is that, unless you are used to running long distance, 10 miles falls (as does for mr Stafko ) in the "need a car for that" cathegory. Conclusions 1) Running changes the way you see your world (or at least the distances in it). 2) Chad Stafko is truly not a runner (in case any of you thought it was all just a sophisticate pose) 3) It is always nice to know that your family and friends are willing to give you a lift (even if you don't really need it).
5k: 20:12 (December 31st 2012)
10k : 44:30 (November 6th 2011, March 18th 2012)
Half Marathon: 1:35:27 (February 3rd 2013)
I like half marathons! Seven completed so far and trying to get back on optimal shape to improve my PB. Once I complete my 10h half I will start thinking about full marathons.