Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Underdog

"What gives ideology it's force is passion..." -Daniel Bell

Every day millions of people open their front doors and go out for a run. I call these people runners. A runner can only be defined by either the initiative to open the front door. Better yet, a runner is defined while on the run. What else can you be as you run through the streets, the woods, the beach or around the track. At that moment in time perception is most certainly reality. As you listen to your tunes or listen to your breathing or just the sounds of your surroundings no one can say, hey buddy, you're not a runner. What are you if not a runner while you are running?

So what's the point of this miniature tirade? Everyday someone attempts to label what you are. In this particular instance, whether or not you are a runner or not. Without fail the sub-labels begin. Social runner, veteran runner, rookie runner, urban runner, trail runner, blah blah blah blah blah. Recently, runners who've run for years simply for the love of running are placed in a non-trendy category. Almost viewed as stodgy and not necessarily with the current "movement". It is no longer cool to do out and backs. It is no longer cool to have run multiple marathons or races... Unless those races are of the moment races or in far away locales. All f these cool places that are being run now have been trampled by runners for decades sans photos. Maybe it's like the tree in the forest; if it isn't photographed it doesn't exist. Well cool runner, it does exist. It will still exist after social media moves on and all or us old uncool runners trek back over the same bridges and under elevated train tracks.

I celebrate all runners. As a collective, I feel connected to every single person who laces them up and bound down the street like 8 year olds on Friday after school. From Elite runners with Olympic Gold to urban crew runners creating a revolution to that runner who just earned the title by opening the front door and voluntarily placing one foot in front of the other to those that have run for over a decade and can only squeeze in random miles in the neighborhood because without it they cannot function at an agreeable level. I do not feel however that we should be separate. Regardless of which adjective one decides to place in front of runner, we all still have the same last name.

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