Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I'm ok on the marathon front, thanks

Sorry but since when did running a marathon become some kind of heartfelt wish or motivation that is understood to be some epitome of goodness?

Each to their own and all, but I don't see it at all.

I've no issue with the idea of running about, if you like it or get paid to do it. I myself enjoy running for an appropriate reason such as catching a bus. I often end up giggling or laughing by the end of it, and marvel how that is often so much fun, and how that doesn't seem to flow into 'jogging' for fitness.

But really, I smell an element of wishful thinking especially when certain people say things like, "I was really fat and the breaking point for me to lose all that weight, was when I realised I could not run a marathon".


I still remember stumbling across the end of an organised run of some kind. I'd never seen this before, and even with my scepticism, if you'd asked me beforehand what I would have expected to see. I'd have thought I would have been able to give a pretty accurate description.

People, you have no idea.

It was horrible, so bad, that tears actually pricked my eyes, I was so affected by what I saw, people in a condition that I've been lucky enough only witnessed when people were quite unwell and even then; they were not running.

These finishing runners were wrinkled and puckered with dehydration and sweat, like when your hands have been submerged too long in water and deathly pale in a way I'd never seen in a person before. Now I know what the term ashen is describing they were in a state almost delirious with exhaustion. So many of them were in extreme distress.

They emanated pain in a way I didn't know was possible, like they were giving off some kind of gas that had the capacity to lower mood, on contact.

And still they drove themselves on to cross the finish line. No triumph, just the end, most running with knees bent and buckling, like half opened jack knives, holding themselves up with sheer will. My mind implored them to just stop, please, it's not worth it.

I stood there disbelieving my own eyes, trying to make sense of this awfulness, why didn't I know about this before? I tried to make it make sense, but just couldn't. I felt I just had to shake myself out of it and go.

The hunched shoulders, fallen posture and necks craned up chins in air, with a single minded desire to finish. It actually made me feel a little sad to be human thinking of how we can talk ourselves into this kind of thing. And don't know when it's time to stop because they've a notion that it represents some higher ideal. Why?

What possible ideal would leave them in this unconscionable state I suppose a lot of it was charity, but seriously, that sometimes does begin (though not end) at home, it's not the only way.

I never wish to witness such a thing again, ever.

It was either a fun run or a half marathon, I'm yearning for it to be the latter, because for once, I do not delight in juxtaposition of opposite meanings. And it would also make it more of an achievement for those who took part.

If you are into that, good luck to you, but using this kind of thing as an example of some kind of superior spiritual enlightenment, I doubt it more than I did to before and I don't envy you one bit.

I have my own missions to traverse every bit as spiritual and searching of me. I don't need inhumane ideas about how human beings can and should improve themselves. I don't need to venerate pain for it's own sake to achieve that.


  1. Hi! Please excuse me for posting an off-topic comment, but I wasn't able to find a contact link for you. (Although maybe it's right under my nose and I missed it.)

    I just wanted to say, first, thanks for the great comment you left on PostBourgie. And second, please consider making your RSS feed a "full text" RSS feed? I don't have time to read blogs outside of google reader, but I'd really like to be able to read your blog. Thanks!

  2. Thank you Amp! I did my best, but those people were no more serious than any others trading in fat hating guff.

    I've made the alteration you mentioned, let me know if you have any trouble with it.

  3. Thanks for the RSS!

    I know what you mean... I found the discussion there disappointing.