Americans need to learn how to throw a proper track party. After New Year’s the next big shindig seems to be the Super Bowl…I mean we’re talking weeks and weeks of hype and grocery stores plugging hot deals for the party gluttony. Where is the same kind of love for track and field?
Well it’s there, but us poor States dwellers have to travel over to Europe if we want to take part. Though don’t worry it’s more than worth the travel because it’s not just one party you’ll be privy too but a whole summer. Track season is Europe is something hard to explain unless you’ve been there; did you know there are actually countries where runners are bona-fide celebrities? Not just the kind that can quietly bust out the mile repeats on a track so fast a runner geek’s jaw would drop but that oblivious walker in lane one would fail to even move to the side?
I understand there are other sports, I’ve got friends and family who play in them, I do go to games and cheer and support…of COURSE. But I’ll be honest, track and running has my heart and I can really get my screaming pants on for even more. My screaming pants and my running shoes…bring it.
Call me a running elitist if you must but runners are cut from one heck of a ‘hardy stock.’ We run through kinds of pain like it’s ‘no big thang’…I don’t condone it, sometimes it’s more stupidity or refusal to acknowledge the obvious on our parts. But at the same time in the back of our minds we all can’t help but think, “Da##, that’s sickly awesome” when we know runners who raced on multiple stress fractures. The runners who, when they take off their spikes it’s a bloodified massacre underneath.
Who amongst us hasn’t taken a tad of perverse glee when they’ve gone in to see some kind of sports medicine doctor and they take a look at us and say something akin to, “Sooo, in looking back through such-and-such test I don’t understand how you were able to even walk in here, aren’t you hurting?”
Runners, yes, our stubbornness can translate into stupidity at certain times, nowhere do they give medals who can suffer through the most idiotic pain. BUT they do give medals to who can suffer through as much pain when it comes to the lactic acid burning, the lungs that want to explode, the legs wondering if they will actually be able to lift again and booty-lock so bad you sort of wonder if that javelin were to impale you on the spot if that would hurt less.
Runners are ballers. So Europe recognizes that, what’s wrong with America? I mean, sure we have football players who get their share of brute force injuries, I know those have to hurt, but those things come usually from being smashed by someone else…runners, we’re out there smashing ourselves in a sense.
Track doesn’t take time outs. When you hit lap 10 of a 10k you can’t just pause to collect yourself, come up with a new game plan or even tie your shoe without losing distance…the clock keeps ticking peeps.
Maybe the US doesn’t have the attention span to sit through 25 laps. We do live in an age where most want to get to the point in a Twitter-alloted character numbers or less…but runners who ‘get’ it know there is plenty to sit through each of those laps. The subtle nuances, the elbows, the moves, who covers the moves, who thinks they’re hot enough to surge to the lead and stay there. The right race could have us blasting out multiple Tweets per lap.
Well, at least in Europe they would.
I’m not saying we don’t have our pockets of track mayhem in the States, the Trials gave us a glimmer. But like I said, the majority of grocery stores weren’t pumping their promo’s for weeks on end about their sales on mini-weiners. And the Trials, what, isn’t that once every four years?
Don’t fret my fellow running fans, there are countries who recognize that running reins supreme. And at least we all know that our sport, and we are, the best…not that that makes us running elitists or anything.
1) Do you follow track or running as a sport much? Do you follow any other sports?
2) Tell me something that makes running the best sport…c’mon you know you want to!
3) What’s been a time where you were proud to be a runner? Could be related to an accomplishment that no one else thought you could do, a ‘stupid runner’ injury story that you are sickly proud of, that you know your pain tolerance is higher than most…or that you just look really good in your running shorts.