Throughout the past several years I have probably pounded my mantra of “RUN MORE” into the brains of a few thousand runners with facebook, twitter and now this blog. A rare few have questioned the meaning behind this “bumper sticker” for my life. When even slightly provoked I have probably run my mouth as much, if not more than, the next running addict around this rally call. Someone once called me the “cheerleader of running” although I am not sure it was really meant as a compliment. Being a male and wearing skirt seems rather cliche’ these days and I would hope my running speaks more loudly than would wearing a cheerleading skirt.
The meaning of RUN MORE could be as simple as running a single step or many miles past what you have previously done. Watching a sedentary person log that first day of running and to see them conquer the first double digit week is almost as life changing as my first marathon. For me, this is as much a part of my RUN MORE theme as upping the elite athletes mileage.
It is my hope to motivate people to put in MORE mileage and to get their body to RUN at a higher rate for the betterment of their running, but also for their life and the lives of those around them. Clearly RUN MORE does not have to be entirely about running. The attitude toward life changes so dramatically with any habitual exercise program that the desire to get fit becomes infectious. For those who can go beyond my running facade and see the non-runner this is where RUN MORE will have a much deeper and farther reaching meaning. Running has been the vehicle for me to get others to achieve things that were completely foreign to them. RUN MORE is my starters pistol for a much bigger race than 26.2 miles; LIFE!
Admittedly, some of the best moments in my life have been while running. However, many other great moments have been while watching others RUN MORE on the road and in their life. Helping a recovering alcoholic put down the bottle, pick up running shoes and launch on a journey of more than a dozen marathons (and counting) is one of the reasons I throw the RUN MORE flag up as a challenge and a healthy addiction. Those who run often have seemingly clairvoyant moments where answers to problems pop in their head while running. Not necessarily a daily thing, but when these answers appear you tend to float for a day or so. Each of these moments certainly motivate me to RUN MORE and surely could be used to convince others to do the same.
Recently the Nike empire put a spin on the RUN MORE mantra by releasing a t-shirt design that I found quite interesting. Shut Up and Run!
Shut Up & Run.
I couldn’t see it or say it without adding “MORE” to the end of the phrase.
Lurking around several chat boards and various running addicted websites I have noticed a mountain of people “talking” more bullshit rather than running more distance. Again, not necessarily within the realm of running alone. I realize “SHUT UP” might be a bit harsh but it seems to get the attention of the person I feel is convicting a public crime in running. These self-aggrandizing statements range from a runner bragging about some list of things they “will do” in a month or a year to performing the same old “song and dance” of excuses after their bold and braggadocios claims go unfulfilled. This is one of the reasons I do not post ALL of the races I hope to run. Posting a list of 50 races on my calendar and telling others this is what will be done seems a bit like bragging. Often you see these lists justified as publicity. How about not posting them and publicizing how great the race was for next years event AFTER you have done it. All to often I see runners bragging about a race only to “rip” it apart post-race in a blog or public-forum. This almost borders on hypocrisy.
Nike had another slogan of “JUST DO IT.” As in quit talking and posting about this monumental feat you want everyone to think you have already done, as if it is a forgone conclusion, and go freaking do it already. Phrases like “wait until you see what I am going to do” just piss me off. A moron writes things like this. Isn’t it obvious that we have to wait? And after hearing this continuous diarrhea of the mouth from these same blowhards I think we all quit waiting and eventually relegate these unsuccessful gasbags to sideshow nickel acts. I am not against stating a goal with a friend or group of friends as a way of encouraging them to hold you accountable. I am probably guilty of this at least once when I announced a goal of trying to win 30 marathons this year. Fortunately, I managed to cover my ass and beat the spread by two wins. This only occurred thanks to the prodding of my sig-other and several sponsors asking me “How many this year?” I tossed out 30 to break my old personal record of 26 waaaaay back in 2006 and then had to step on the gas as I didn’t run any marathons until late February when I turned 40.
My stance here is clearly one of a personal decision and seemingly not embraced by the hoards of newbie runners. It seems that people are “promising” things as nothing more than hype. A publicity stunt if you will. I feel as though some runners are acting like politicians and perhaps hoping to raise campaign funds for themselves or setting up sponsors for their big reveal. They publicize a future claim and an apparent false belief and thus raise our hopes of something grandiose that may or may not ever happen. Amazingly, we still vote for them. I have seen some of these “claims” simply disappear without real cause or reason. Perhaps this is why politicians drop out of a race. They make promises and then can’t deliver. Perhaps people get so sick of their lies and hype that they stop funding their “campaign.”
My suggestion is to flip this scenario on the “politicians” of running. The statement “shut up and run” seems very fitting as a rally flag. Let’s celebrate those runners who silently achieve truly amazing things and focus on their accomplishments rather than promised acts of a circus clown. Perhaps there are fingers pointing back at me and this post might be a bit of self-reflection on not only what I have seen, but perhaps what I have done. Can we avoid self-publicizing future events and making outlandish claims that may not come to fruition. Let’s put our feet to the asphalt, shut our pie-holes and RUN MORE! You in?