- That we’re aloof - When I’m running outside I try to keep myself to myself as I’m scared of something going wrong. I understand that you could easily mistake my standoffisshness as snobbery but that simply isn’t the case. Most runners are decent people who only appear distant because they’re primarily concerned with not dying out there. I try to nod at passers-by these days but since I move awkwardly they think I’m special and/or having a fit.
- That runners are part of a clic and that they aren’t invited - The beauty of running is that you can do it on your own or as part of a group. You don’t have to belong to be a runner, you just have to run! There is no such thing as an average runner. If you spectate at a race you’ll see that we come in all shapes and sizes and ability levels. Running let’s you be yourself and you’re only judged by the road.
- That you can’t be a runner if you don’t have a perfect body - If you believe this to be true then you’re caught in a catch 22 situation. How can you acquire a healthy body if you weren’t born that way? The truth is that you can get a better body if you’re overweight by doing some exercise. It’s just about making a start rather than making another excuse. I have plenty of excuses for not running, namely that I’m flabbier than a baby pup walrus and I run like I’ve shit myself.
- That we’re self absorbed and all we think about is running and fitness - This isn’t strictly true. Runners are no more passionate about their hobby than any other group from society. Besides everyone feels passionate about something, whether it’s cars, fashion or movies. There’s nothing wrong with following your true passion in life (unless it involves masturbating on public transport and harassing commuters for tips).
- That runners are running away from something bad like guilt, sadness, sheep-rustling or attempted murder - I admit that I’m maybe running away from the first two but is that such a bad thing? At least when I’m running I can come up with ways to cope. I think everyone deals with their own issues in their own way. Previously I’d have covered up negative emotions with food and booze and both only made things worse. I’m no longer running from my problems, I’m running with them.
- That running is always painful and that we enjoy pain - I blame all of the ‘no pain no gain’ shitheads for this misconception especially the ones who spout the ‘If it doesn’t hurt then you’re doing it wrong’ fucking nonsense. Running for me is a pleasure and an outlet to relieve stress. I can understand the appeal of pushing yourself once every week but to go all out all of the time sends the wrong message to those who honestly want to enjoy running.
- That you can’t live a normal life and be a runner - I work 9-5 and still manage to run 4 times a week. I might get up at 5am twice on weekdays but it isn’t that much of a sacrifice as I love doing it!
- That they don’t have what it takes to be a runner - This is understandable when you consider how much bullshit comes along with running. You can’t just run anymore like you did as a child. You have to perform yogic stretches, run at precise intervals with a watch that’s spitting hate at you as your guide. Then once the pain of it is all over it’s an ice bath, more stretching and then a 2 hour meditation session performed to a recording of the bearded members of Clannad being fucked by a dolphin.
- That running is boring and we’re boring by association - The act itself might seem boring if you are just running for its own sake but the fact is it acts as a great natural mood booster if you’re prone to depressive states. Running is only as boring as you allow it to be.
- That there is no satisfaction with running as we’re always striving to do better - Many assume that as runners there is no end to our striving for better times and leaner bodies. At times this is true but every so often we relax and just enjoy a run or a race. If you’re constantly chasing a new personal best every time then you’ll burn out. The satisfaction comes from knowing when to take it easy and when to go for it and getting the balance right.
- That running outside is dangerous - As much as I write about my own fears of my personal safety whilst running, I know I’m never really in any danger. If you use your common sense and don’t try to pick fights with the general public then you’ll be fine.
- That only certain people are born runners - We are all born to run. We’re survival machines designed to forage over vast distances for food. We aren’t built to sit in office cubicles for 160 hours a month. No wonder we get stressed out so much! Running is a great natural antidote to most of the stresses of modern life.
- That you have to live a monastic life to be a real runner - There is a middle way between living a healthy life and having fun. You don’t have to run 100 miles per week and eat nothing but quinoa nor should you run no miles per week and eat nothing but cake. Optimal running involves both the running and the cake.
- That you have to be a recovering alcoholic, a heroin addict or otherwise mentally unstable to run - Whilst running does seem to attract people who have experienced addiction or other mental health problems, it tends to bring out the best in everyone regardless of their background (unless of course you’re using running as a way to make quick getaways whilst shoplifting).
- That all runners are angry and foul tempered - What the fuck are you talking about you cunt? You’ll find that most runners are perfectly fucking amicable if you treat them as human beings!
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by Matt the Angry Jogger
Angry Jogger loves running to lose and maintain his weight. He started running as an obese man and is now only overweight at 200lbs. He started off at 280lbs.