Pretentious: self-important and affected: acting as though more important or special than is warranted, or appearing to have an unrealistically high self-image.
So, it appears, that after a lifetime of avoiding exercise, and specifically of mocking the “sport” of running, I was wrong.
Yep, I said it. I was wrong.
Because it turns out that I love running.
I’m a newbie, can barely handle running 3 miles without stopping to catch a breath at some point, can’t even begin to imagine running much further than that just yet.
But I do love to run. There’s just something inexplicable about the way running makes me feel.
I’d heard of a “runner’s high” but until I began running myself, I had no idea what that meant. I get it now.
Running is the only exercise I can think of that I actually crave. That I miss. That I can spend an entire day looking forward to doing.
I love it.
But again, I’m a newbie. I’m quite sure, therefore, that I’m probably not doing it all “right”. Maybe my form isn’t quite perfect. Maybe my breathing technique needs work. Perhaps I’m wearing he wrong running gear. My pace is too fast, too slow…I’m certain to be breaking some running rules somewhere along the way.
If you’re asking, what rules? What are you talking about? Who cares? Then welcome to my frustration with some “serious runners”.
Because here’s the thing, for the most part, I find the running community to be this wonderful, warm, inviting, friendly bunch.
Since I’ve started running, I’ve made new friends who run and love to talk about running. I meet strangers on the street, running past one another, and a friendly, courteous head nod or smile of acknowledgement is almost always exchanged.
From folks who’ve just started running themselves, to experienced marathoners, I’ve been given advice, encouragement, and congratulations on my progress.
It’s a beautiful thing.
And then there’s the other side.
The pretentious side.
The “I’m a runner and you’re merely a jogger” side.
I’ll be honest, I don’t get the difference, because to me, if you’re going any faster pace than walking, you are running. Jogging, sprinting, whatever…it’s still all running.
When I see things like this:
my blood boils. (By the way, google that company, and you'll find a whole bunch of other ads and stories about this same topic).
When I hear things like “You know you’re a runner when you see someone else run and think to yourself “that’s not running” as I did the other day on my twitter stream, it makes me cranky.
That pretentiousness? That holier than thou attitude? That “my running is better than your running” nonsense? Is there really any need for that? Shouldn’t we be encouraging everyone who’s out there trying to get/be healthy?
When I run past someone who is walking, I don’t think “pffft, that’s not exercise, you should try running”. I think “good for you, being active”.
What is it that makes you so much better than anyone else?
Why is it okay to make someone else feel badly about their efforts? Because they don’t match yours? Well, how would you like Olympic runners to tell you that unless you have a gold medal, you’re not really a runner either?
Where does it stop?
By the way, I have no idea whether I'd be considered a runner or a jogger by "that type" of runner's standards...and I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not walking...so I'm running.
A little competition is healthy. Racing and trying to have the best time is fine.
But putting someone down because what they consider running is not good enough for you? That’s just unnecessary!
Focus on the pavement in front of you, stop looking around…or you might just trip over something, break an ankle, and then, you wouldn’t be much of a runner, would you?