A Different Kind of Rant
Well, excuse me.
Some runners say that 5K is nothing to be proud of; that a 3 mile run is just a warm up for "real" runners. Others say it is narcissistic to flaunt your accomplishments and no one will be be impressed. Still others snub the whole practice altogether. There were comments along the line of, "what next, a medal for just making it to the starting line?" and "If I see a 5K on your car, I know you're a pretender."
I had known that there was this dark underbelly of the running community, but I was still shocked at the rage expressed over a 3 inch oval sticker. It actually made my stomach sick a little. And, to be honest, it did make me wonder if I fit in to this community of runners at all.
And then I thought, fuck this shit.
If my wife runs this race and finishes, she will get her sticker. Because she is in constant pain from her lupus. Because she is in constant pain from her fibromyalgia. Because she trained for it for as long as some train for marathons. Because she wants it so bad, she can taste it. Because she has overcome a crippling fear of social situations to make it happen.
The woman gets her sticker.
I decided that some messages will never be understood. I realized that these runners bitching about decals are doing so because they think they know what the runner meant when she put one on her car. They don't have the luxury of taking the time to get to know my wife (or me, for that matter) and understand what that sticker means to her. So they fill in the meaning from what they feel. Their anger comes from a reflection of who they are inside, not from the sticker on the trunk.
For my wife, it is a symbol of a far reaching accomplishment through physical pain and mental anguish.
For me, it would be a symbol of belonging.
For you, I have no idea. And that's the point.
We also have a "my daughter is on the honor roll" type of bumper sticker on our van. It's not there because we think she's better than your kid. It's there so she knows we are proud of her.
And I will put a 5K decal on the van so my wife knows how proud I am of her.
at 1:40 PM