I’m a Runner. Suck it, Stafko.

I’m a runner, not a one-woman ‘selfie’ parade. If you haven’t read a recent opinion piece by Chad Stafko on the WSJ, prepare to want to hunt the guy down and offer him a swift kick in the groin. Most likely he’ll be easy to find: his house will be the one with a mob of irate runners, he’ll already be on the ground amidst a flurry of kicks to the groin. Can’t miss him.
runner in shoe
Mario Fraioli, senior editor at Competitor, did a nice reply to Mr. Stafko’s tribute to slothdom. Fraioli pretty much covered it but, being that I’m never short on words myself, I have a few things to add.

While my own POS car does not have a 26.2, 13.1, or even 3.1 bumper sticker on it, every time I see one out driving I instantly feel a connection to the driver of that vehicle. “You’re a runner, cool! Certainly, I’ll let you slide right over into my lane in front of me.”
nike plus comic
When my Facebook or Twitter feeds are blowing up with pictures or reports from fellow runners after their amazing workouts or scenic runs I don’t hold it against them. I don’t begrudgingly think they are just egomaniacs…they’re merely riding an endorphin high. They’re just trying to share a bit of a contact high with their social media minions. There aren’t selfies; rather, these tributes to their runs are a few things: motivation, inspiration, proof that hard work and dedication pay off, and further evidence that running breeds a happier, more driven, productive individual. But heck, even if a runner IS to outright ‘brag’ about a PR they should…PR’s are fan-freaking-tastic! [side-note, there IS a huge difference between true running shoes and discount bin knock-offs]

I do find it a little funny that he pegs running as the satan of all sports. Where is Rodney Dangerfield? “I get no respect!” Bumper stickers and license plate rims with football or basketball teams are completely acceptable. Hey, I’d like to point out that the ‘My son is an honor roll student at Shiny Rainbows Pre-School’ bumperstickers are more laughably annoying, am I wrong?
keep running
In the end, he’s just not a runner and can’t ‘get it’. He certainly could, if he takes Fraioli up on his most generous offer, but he won’t. He doesn’t want to. That’s too bad, because really he’s the one missing out. Rather than a self-absorbed parade of one, he’d wind up a little less angry and lot more motivated to discover just HOW MUCH he can accomplish. “How fast can I get?” “How far can I run?” “How much better am I truly, when I ignore the self-imposed limits my mind puts on me?”

I run because it keeps me sane. We all run for our own reasons and, to be honest, at this point I just don’t know another way. I also don’t plan on figuring out another way either…I mean, I like my running as is.

1) Do you have any bumper stickers on your car?
2) Do you share about your runs on social media sites?
3) Why do you run?

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9 thoughts on “I’m a Runner. Suck it, Stafko.

  1. I have a bumper sticker on my car, I have a blog right now that is full of race photos, and I have a zillion race shirts that are my wardrobe. I didn’t begrudge the article, though. I just blew it off, since us runners can overshare. I do agree that it is the runners experiencing an endorphin high, and that’s what ‘drunk’ people do, they talk loud and proud. The article won’t change that.

  2. What a silly little man! While I don’t have any bumper stickers on my car (my Dad would flip about ‘destroying the paintwork!’) I do proudly wear my race shirts to the gym, or out on the road – I earned those with every step, every blister, every early morning.
    There is no shame in being proud of what you have achieved, or how far you have come on your personal journey. It is a way of saying to the world: I did this, and maybe you can too! Tweeting, Facebook messaging, or Instagramming about your run are ways to connect with a wider community of runners (or other sports people) than you may be able to in your immediate physical community. I have friends from the USA (looking at you Miss Cait), Sydney, South Australia, and all over the place who I am only able to contact through social media, and we encourage each other by ‘liking’, ‘retweeting’, or leaving a message on each others page. Not unlike what a running group offers to each other in person.
    I love seeing other people’s feats – it inspires me and reminds me that there are lots of other crazy runner people out there!

    • amen to that, chickpea! u bring up SUCH a wonderful thing i missed, which is about uniting runners across the world. it’s funny, i talk/social/email with fine far-away friends (looking at YOU!) i often forget there is about half a globe between us! we’re all there in spirit, rooting each other on…and that is something really special. 🙂

  3. My dad gave me a 26.2 magnet for my car after I completed my first marathon this past weekend 🙂 I have yet to put it on my car, but I feel the same as you about the bumper stickers! I instantly feel a connection with the person when I see a 26.2 or 13.1 on their car. I’ve heard people complain that those magnets or the pictures/announcements on Facebook about a race or workout are bragging, but I think it’s really just a way to celebrate an accomplishment. 13.1 and 26.2 miles are both a long ways to go and require dedication and often months of training… you should be able to be proud and announce to the world what you accomplished if you want to 🙂

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