Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm going to quit running. I've never liked it. It's miserable. It takes up too much free time, and I look stupid doing it. It takes so much effort and for so little reward. I've never been any good at it. I've never won a race. So many other people are better, faster, luckier. And every time I do it, I just get tired, and sore, and sunburned. And I'm mostly just tired of explaining myself.

And then I get injured, and non-runners just mock me. They say I was stupidly asking for it, which I was. And sometimes even my running buddies mock me! And this after running all those marathons. I'm tired of people calling me crazy, and an idiot. Which I am, because it is. I'm coming clean. I have always hated it.

I've never liked marathons, which is like surrounding yourself with 20,000 other mentally ill people and then engaging in collective self-torture. After a marathon, I can barely walk. My groin and armpits are chafed. I cramp up and my nipples bleed. And my knees ache for a week. But I have seen the light, and it is so obvious and so bright! I don't need to exercise. I get enough of that at work. And I can point to several legitimate scientific studies out there that prove that slightly overweight people actually live longer.

I've had a few running friends try to keep me in the sport, when I shyly admitted my desire to quit altogether. But they're idiots, too. Look at them! Lying to themselves. Morons. Besides, they're in better shape than me. I'm just not a runner. I'm sure they pity me, but they don't know what it's like. And I don't really care what they think.

I've been doing it for thirty years and am finally realizing what a stupid waste of time it's all been. I mean, seriously, it's taking years off my life! And I don't want to spend what life I have left lamely covered in ice packs on the couch, poring over pace times, and thumbing through Runners World magazine ogling the thin, fit, tan athletes on the cover. I'm not an athlete. I admit it. I've never been one. I mean, seriously. Running? Come on. Just where do you think you're going? Didn't you see Forrest Gump? I know it sounds ironic, but running is for the retarded mindset. It's sad, really, how so many people get sucked in.

I've spent hundreds of dollars on races a year, and they're all no more than overpriced t-shirts. What a hassle. And I abhor crowds! The whole scene is so stupid and useless, and I am finally seeing the light. I'm going to take that money and buy an Xbox.

I have even -I admit it- traveled out of state to run a stupid race. What an incredible waste of money! Seriously, no one ever wins these things! The last race I ran, I came in 1536th place! I am an idiot! And I am so sorry. I am sorry to everyone when I lied and said how great it was and how they should have been there, and should do it too, because you would be so proud of your dumb, easily-persuaded, brainwashed self.

All those people who I conned into running a marathon? Pathetic bastards. You believed me? You're a fool. Just look at the obvious facts. And then I saw them stoked and bragging about it later. They should lock me up. I am so ashamed.

And then there were all those fads we got sucked into: heart-rate monitors and GPS tracking devices and those god-awful protein-loaded space bars that looked and tasted like blocks of hardened, regurgitated cat food. And the barefoot craze, remember? The VIBRAMS! Oh my god, can we all just pull our collective head out of our collective posterior? Good Lord. (Who shakes His head at us.)

I'm going to burn my race shirts, with my dumb Asics Kayanos wrapped in old race bibs and marathon medals sitting on top. I'm going to douse it all in sunscreen and analgesic oils. It will be a sacrificial pyre to the gods of Common Sense, and I will drop to my knees in the smoke and firelight and beg forgiveness. I'll do penance. I'll go to local races on Sunday mornings, get drunk on Mimosas, and stand on the sidewalk and hold up sensible, philosophical signs that implore to strangers YOU'RE BEING MISLED and YOU KNOW THIS IS ALL WRONG and THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS WHAT A WASTE OF TIME THIS IS, WHY DON'T YOU?

Now that I think of it, I've seen those signs, and never heeded them.

Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves, we can't see the forest for the trees. Self-delusion is such an easy path. One can get caught in a downward spiral, and lose all sense of clarity. You forget everything that mattered -especially the little things- and you get sucked into a tunnel of narrow-mindedness. Overwhelmed by an easily-justified insecurity, you surround yourself with people who prop you up, speak your language, and tell you what you want to hear. You convince yourself:  They're right. It's better this way. It always was. And I feel great now. I really do.

But no one can tell me what to do. I have to make these decisions on my own. I'm quitting running. You can't convince me otherwise. You fool! Look at the evidence!