Monday, May 18, 2009

A Runner’s Rebuttal to the Athlete Stereotype

I wrote this either last week or a couple weeks ago as part of a pitch for a high School running program. It didn't get used but I thought it was pretty awesome so I wanted to post it. This is basically a High School runner's snide retort to the football/baseball/basketball star. Kind of a middle fingered eye roll to what the stereotype jock is through the eyes of a kid that's dominating his sport but getting no love. High School runners past and present should get it - and for those who don't I think the HS Runner has a middle finger left for you. Enjoy.


Runners are Rock Stars. I’m a Rock Star. Yeah, I might not get the glitz and glamour, the pep rallies and pom poms, but when I do what I do I do what I do well. I’ve got style that goes for days. Mad skills. I make it look good. You see me as that crazy runner kid doing laps around your practice, and joke that my sport is your punishment, but you’re only half right – whether you’re running voluntarily or not MY sport is punishment. Running hurts. If it doesn’t hurt you’re not doing it right. And by the way, you’re right, I am crazy. We all are. That’s what keeps us going.

And we’re not stopping. In the snow, in the rain, in the heat, in the dark, through mud, through muck, through dust, through dirt, in woods, in traffic, around traffic, past traffic, over traffic - whatever you want to throw at me I’m charging through it.

I’m not stopping. There are no rain delays in my sport. There are no time outs, stoppages of play, seventh inning stretches, half times, free throws, automatic bases, lay ups, or empty netters. All we’ve got is a clock and it keeps going until I cross the line. So I don’t stop until I’m past it. That’s what’s different about us, but it’s not the only thing big boy.

I’m also tougher than you. You don’t believe me? Well I’ve got a pair of Pegs and an interval workout that thinks differently. You might think you can do what I do but you’re wrong. If you think otherwise then prove it. And when you’re huffing and puffing after the first 1000 meters with your hands on your knees wondering why I’m making it look so easy I want you to remember this – I am - but it’s not. The path from there to here was paved with pain.

We love the pain. That’s what keeps us coming back. While you’re hiding behind your shoulder pads, hip guards, facemask, and helmet, I’m staring agony in the face, gritting my teeth, and telling pain to bring it. My off days hurt more than your entire season.
I’m hardcore like that.

Yeah, you heard me. I’m brutal in ways you couldn’t understand.

Maybe you can break your opponents will with a late inning single? A jumper at the buzzer? A hail mary as the clock expires? Light weight. Imagine sitting on the leader’s shoulder for three miles - so close he hear your heart beating in his ear. Then just when he can feel the tape about to hit his chest, you drop the hammer so hard he doesn’t even bother. He’s done. That’s the kind of ruthlessness that I’m bringing.

So when you see my boys from Nike rolling up, bringing something like you’ve never seen and you’re asking yourself why a bunch of crazy runners are getting the red carpet rolled out for them? Remember what I said – We’re getting treated like Rock Stars because that’s what we are, and this is how we roll.

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