There’s a funny post up at Booze Hounds Inc about how runners brag about their running and just generally annoy the people in their daily life with the ins and outs of it all. Now, I don’t doubt I annoy the hell out of the people in my life on a daily basis, but I realized while reading the post that I actually try not to talk about my running in real life.
Running is quite personal for me. When I took up running almost a year ago, I was just emerging from a rather dark period in my life. Full of anger at both myself and others, I needed to channel that energy into something productive. Enter running.
Running saved me. It’s a total cliche to say that, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I had become a person that I not only didn’t like but was actually repulsed by. How could I have let things get so bad? That doesn’t really matter now. The point is, without running, I might still be that person, trapped in a mire of my own making. That’s not something I like to contemplate.
So I run. And when I get back from a run, I clean off, put my running gear away and continue on with the day. Of course, living in this environment, people do notice my comings and goings and the fitness attire that I wear for my runs. I’m asked about it and, uncomfortably, I respond with the truth. When I discover I’m speaking to a fellow runner, some of my tension eases a bit and we’ll have a nice chat but I still continue to hide things. Things like training for a marathon.
Obviously, many people here now know I’m training for a marathon. Having to excuse myself from a weekend excursion is difficult if I don’t explain that my four-hour long run is going to put me out of commission for about a day. And I hate to lie outright by giving some lame-ass excuse. Lie by omission? Sure, you betcha, but I’m not often allowed to get away with that.
It’s the reactions I hate the most. They range from surprise and incomprehension to awe. I don’t want any of it. I don’t want to have to justify myself to the confused and I find the admiration of the others to be oppressive.
Running is my own private joy which I do for completely selfish reasons. I don’t want to share it.
Why then do I blather to you all about it day in and day out? Well, you all are special. (In probably more than one way, but I won’t go there.) In part, it’s because you all understand. You have gone or are going through the same things so there’s that sense of camaraderie which is quite comforting. It’s also nice that most of you don’t know me in the real world. You have no idea what life I’ve led or what kind of baggage I carry around with me. That anonymity, however illusory, helps me enormously.
This is not to say I won’t ever outgrow these feelings and become more like you braggarts one day. Hell, if I finish the marathon in one piece, one of the first things I’m going to do is update my much-neglected Facebook page to say something charming like ‘Xenia just finished running the Florence marathon. What have you losers done today?’ It’ll be nice payback for all those twits from high school who feel compelled to track me down online just so they can brag about how great their lives are. Seriously, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about you back then so why should I care now that you’re married and have produced a squalling brat from your loins.* Hey, wanna see my race medal?
So, yeah. Sorry about the over-sentimentality. I guess I just needed to get it off my chest. Also, I didn’t have much to say today anyways and hadn’t planned on posting at all. You can now all blame Viper for this maudlin post. I know I do.
Happy Halloween, everyone. Enjoy your weekend.
*Not that these aren’t accomplishments, they very much are. I just don’t care for most of the people I went to high school with.