There’s this thing that happens when your friends know you “do fitness stuff”. It’s akin to the Pickup Truck Call, in that you’re top-of-mind when it comes to moving things, especially large, awkward, or heavy things. This is expected and, usually, fairly entertaining, because there’s usually food and stuff as thanks, plus… hey, free bonus exercise. :-)
There’s also the inevitable wallpapering of stuff that captures social media mindshare, which Oatmeal’s treatise on running did when he posted it recently.
Let’s assume I said something clever about my immune system vs. viral phenomena [here] and jump to the meat of the discussion. :-)
I don’t agree with him. I don’t think he’s wrong, and, on a lot of what he says, I do think he’s on target. But his experience is not my experience, nor are my goals his goals.
Overlap? Sure. He’s got the Blerch; I have the skinny little shit I used to be jazzed up with some lurking ass-kickery. But, when I’ve run, I have absolutely hit that wall (9.7 miles into the half marathon, and, frankly, I hit it hard enough that I have no interest in hitting it again… this is coming from a guy who has almost fainted after a set of squats, has strained several muscles mid-lift, may have ruptured a tendon lifting, definitely tore a tricep once, and am a month and a half out from getting a torn-up shoulder surgically repaired, and the wall sucked more than anything except a three-day episode of sciatica and what the surgical recovery is looking like). The pride in accomplishing something that used to look amazing and nigh unto impossible is a hell of a thing, and achievement is a goodness.
I’ve never even been within shouting distance of Runner’s High; I occasionally get a few seconds of CNS tingle when I’m fully activated and involved in a heavy lift (I can’t say it’s addictive, but it’s like you’re Super Mario and you’ve just gotten the gold star power-up, and you’re sparkling with light and completely invincible and 400 pounds feels like a phone book).
On the subject of vanity… he probably knows he’s constructing a straw man out of douchebags and bullshit wrapped in TapOut gear, but I’d be remiss if I let him off for his misguided asscactusry. It’s a microcosm us-vs-them fillip that doesn’t need to be there, and pissed me off enough by disparaging what I do (ie: pick up heavy shit in order to improve the performance and appearance of my meat suit) to generate this entire goddamned diatribe.
Look, Oats, just because running didn’t give you the body you thought it would, you don’t need to bag on those of us who are doing things that actually work in that direction. You do your thing and enjoy it, I’ll do my thing and enjoy it, and, having burned a shitton of calories, we can go destroy a pizza together afterwards and talk about the cool shit you saw running or the local sports team or the inexplicable persistence of HGTV.
The first 1/3 of that first box is true for the author.
The middle 1/3 of that first box may or may not be true for runners.
The last 1/3 of that first box is true for any athletic pursuit.
I have a scrawled, sweat-soaked, smudged, chalk-caked logbook that fucking says so.
Henry Rollins said that “the iron never lies, because two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re running two hundred feet or two hundred miles, lifting two pounds or a thousand; you’re doing something for yourself, whether it’s searching for a better version of yourself or slaying an inferior one that needs to fuck off.
Do what you do. Fuck ’em if they tell you it’s wrong.
You’re not doing it for them.
You’re not doing it for The Oatmeal.
You’re not doing it for me.
You’re doing it for you.
… and fuck Nike for co-opting the phrase that goes here.
I have weight to lift.
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