I’m a Runner and I’m a Jealous Bastard
I’ve got an awful fucking secret to share. I’m a runner and I’m still a jealous bastard.
Whenever I see someone doing well in a race, my first emotion isn’t always joy. I get an awful sinking sickly feeling inside and it defies explanation (other than I’m still a jealous bastard). It’s like a shadowy figure inside of me that feeds off cynicism and fear.
It’s still inside of me and I want to burn it fucking out. If someone succeeds, they aren’t taking anything away from me. They are showing me the way to be better. Success comes through sacrifice. Effort in training. Research into healthier ways of eating. Focus and determination to make the results a reality. Whenever that jealousy stirs inside of me, it’s nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. I can use it as a pointer to what I’m doing wrong.
If I let the jealousy take over my being, then I become a really unpleasant person and I don’t want that for myself anymore.
Killing off the jealous bastard.
Ever since I’ve focused on the ultramarathon distances it’s been difficult to be jealous of anyone who succeeds. I don’t know why. I think it’s because most ultra runners want to finish and there’s no crazy bravado on show. Everyone wishes everyone on.
It’s been helped by discovering my own reason for running. I don’t run to compete. Or to even compete with myself. I do it to stay in relatively good shape and to fend off depression. It’s only when I stopped running for a while back in early 2015 that I realised this. It goes back to when I ran for fun as a kid. I did it for the joy of it.
When it turns into a competition, my first thought is back to school and being a fucking loser at sports. I guess I still harbour major fucking resentment over all of that. If I start getting competitive and lose, then I’m straight back to being a fat awkward adolescent with Napoleon Syndrome. Even though I’m 6′ 3″. I tend to take everything personally which is another of my great flaws.
Being jealous makes being sober that much harder. The jealous side of me wants to drink so I can subconsciously draw on the spite and make my own life and other peoples lives a fucking misery. It isn’t happening. When I talk about my jealous nature out loud, it shrinks and retreats into the corner of my soul and I feel more free and less likely to drink.
I don’t think the ‘win at all costs’ mentality is healthy and that’s maybe why I’m a loser. The natural end point of the ‘win at all costs’ mentality is sticking a pitchfork laced with steroids up your arse to gain a competitive advantage.
The whole argument about drugs in sports isn’t anything to do with sports. It’s to do with ethics and identity more than anything.
‘I’m British. Therefore because of my arbitrary sense of national identity, I believe in fair play and not getting fucked up on angel sprinkles so I can cunt you at the discus throw”.