A few days ago, Chad Stafko wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal entitled “OK, You’re A Runner. Get Over It” and since then, runners from all over the world have chimed in on what Stafko had to say, much less wonder what the act of running had to do with WSJ.
If you don’t want to read the article, he basically doesn’t get why runners insist on “patting themselves on the back” by showing the world what they’ve done. This can be in the form of wearing a shirt from a recently run event or, in some cases, a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on their car. He only quotes those two because 70.3 or 140.6 probably would have blown his mind.
But that’s the extent of belittling I’ll do here. In fact I probably shouldn’t have even gone that far because running is something not everybody “gets” and Stafko definitely falls into that category despite how many running friends he says he has.
I’ll quote one part of his article, prove my point, and the game will be over. It really will be that simple.
Why would someone want to get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles adorned with fluorescent tape to avoid being struck by someone who has the good sense to use a car for a 10-mile journey?
Easy. Because I can guarantee that this dad (2004)…
…had a better chance of dying from something health-related than this dad (2013)…
…who now runs events with his son and will continue to do so until he drops dead.
(By the way, those are indeed the same two people in both pictures: me and my son.)
He will also continue to be the person Stafko despises in the article: he’ll wear shirts from events, put [insert appropriate distance here] stickers on his car, wake up on any given Sunday at 5 a.m. to go for a 10-mile run, and even wear medals the entire day after competing in an event.
And it will be done with pride.
Running any distance is indeed an accomplishment and therefore, I believe is worth bragging about. Running has also changed, and possibly saved or extended, my life.
Game over, Chad.
And no, I won’t get over it.