The other day I heard a disheartening story from a runner friend of mine. She had just accomplished an amazing feat and finished her first marathon! She had run with her brother and they had just sat down to lunch after the race, basking in the afterglow of their accomplishment. Her brother ran into a guy who saw his medal hanging around his neck and the guy struck up a conversation with him. It went like this:
Guy: “Was this your first marathon?”
Guy: “How long did it take you?”
Brother: “A little over 6 hours.” (his time was 6:10 or something)
Guy: “Wow…that’s a long walk.” Chuckle chuckle.
Brother: “…well, have a great day.” *Walks away*
When I read about that I was so mad I could spit nails! What a nerve! And not just the arrogance but the fact that the guy said that right after they had finished their marathon! He totally rained on their parade!! It got me to thinking about any negative experiences I may have had as a runner. I haven't experienced anything quite so demeaning as my friend's brother did but I do remember distinctly having a friend of mine tell me that my 3-miler "didn't count" because I had walked a little to recover on the hilly parts. It was so belittling! What gives people the right to judge others' running ability or accomplishments? I'll tell you...
Every achievement we cover as runners in reality is a personal feat, one that no one can take away from us. But there might be times when you have to shake off irritating folks who seem to have no other lot in life but to tear others down. It's sad, but it's true. And we all know that it actually comes from their own insecurities. So don't listen!
Whatever you do as a runner, don't let anyone tell you that you aren't amazing! (Even if they can run a 2:30 marathon, it does not give them the right!) Just the fact that you get up every day, lace up your running shoes and pound pavement is a huge accomplishment! Running is hard; no matter how fast, how far, or if you take walk breaks. So that means that you win! The only ones who lose are the jerks who cut you down. Here's a cool quote:
Run for YOU.