I hate runners.
|Make room for runners.|
In a practical sense, they've only obstructed me once or twice when I was up for an early weekend stroll near the canal. (OK--I was walking home from a girl's house the next morning, you caught me.) In this case they had blocked off central streets that were my only way of walking home, and much to the dismay of the officers who were charged with brigading this boring event, I ran thru the path when I saw a break in the pack safely to the other side.
Runners are frustrating in a much less practical, but much more annoying way. No, I'm not talking about when they run by you when you are meandering along the sidewalk with your ipod turned up loud so you can't hear the elephant footsteps charging behind you, demanding that you get out of their way--that is annoying too, and sometimes even frightening when you all-of-a-sudden are centimetres from a sweaty old man with a tired but proud look, disgruntedly staring you down, sending you off your feet jumping onto the grass, terrified for your life. Many times I have thought I was about to get jumped, only to realize that it was just an old guy not wanting to hurt his time so he can feel good about his fitness again.
What is worst about runners is how they gather in groups -- and not just running groups, but groups when they get hotels in Centretown for their much-adorned races -- their air of pretension and undeserved sense of entitlement. They talk about running more than an artist talks about art, and talks about it in a way that you know they feel about themselves for being runners. I have nothing against self-esteem -- in fact, I'd love to borrow some of theirs, since they seem to have such a surplus. It's the look they give you when you say you don't run, or how they expect you to say that you wish you did, or how they try to convince of its health benefits and why everyone should run. It makes you feel good AND is good for you, right?
Wrong. Well, not entirely wrong, but kind of. If you are running as much as these nuts are, especially on sidewalks, your knees probably aren't in the greatest shape. Plus, if you are running thru downtown streets like mine, you look like a complete tool unless it's late enough in the evening where there aren't tons of people around. And I'm not talking about the people who go for the occasional jog thru the area at night with their headphones on--once or twice a week, having a brisk jog is a great thing and even admirable. It's those people that take it way too seriously and call it a sport.
Running is even less of a sport than shuffleboard, or even poker or having sex. There are no rules to running; running is moving as fast as you can. Sometimes there is a pre-determined distance to run or a pre-determined time you have to run for. And I guess in races you can't like, bodycheck people or anything (there are some stretches where I bet if you did, no one could see, though). But for the most part, you are just running like a hamster in its cage. And you don't even have the luxury of stopping when you're tired like the hamster does either, unless of course you want to look like a pussy. I was so worried about looking like a pussy once that I threw up after I ran a race. And apparently that's not even abnormal: there are people who regularly throw up after running a race, and in fact they expect it. They think that if they haven't thrown up, it means that they didn't truly give it all that they had.
|A real sport.|
A startling confession
I have jogged occasionally to find out just how out of shape I am, but I haven't run a race since I was about 15 years old. The last race I ran it was because I accidentally advanced to the south-western Ontario championships for the 800. It must have been a weak field or something in the regional races. It didn't inspire me to go join a club full of other runners.
More hate for the runners
Running is not fun, it is not interesting to watch, and it is not interesting to do. If you want to prove something to yourself about how far and fast you can go, that's great, just don't talk to me about it. I could not care less that you like to get around town a little bit faster than I do when I walk. Hell, if I need to get somewhere quickly, I just take the bus, or if I need to get somewhere really quickly, I just take a cab. Shocking, I know. Running for the sake of running is like using an outhouse and pumping for your own water when you have a perfectly-functioning clean bathroom and access to a plethora of running water. There are other ways to get your exercise and to experience the outdoors.
I am not someone who should be looked down at because I don't want to feel like I am having a panic attack on the home stretch because I can't breathe and my legs gave up blocks ago. My heart isn't meant to pump that fast unless I am seconds away from a threesome with Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman, and then only if I see the proof that they are present and willing to go. Running is not a lifestyle, it's some weird cult that you became obsessed with because you have something to prove to yourself, and perhaps you think you have something to prove to other people to. Don't be a Jehovah's Witness. Don't try to convert the unsaved. You might just get smacked in the nose with a wooden door and have your pamphlets warm my living room with the makeshift fireplace I installed just so I could watch your persuasions burn. Bump into me on my way to work and your knees might get shattered by flailing nunchucks.
a.m.k. is moving closer to the canal sooner. Runners should keep their heads up.
[Images borrowed from Susan Gittins, Mary Carol Williams, and Wikipedia.]