For some reason over the past few years the number of people in my life who have gotten into running marathons has increased by 100%. Okay, it’s not like everyone I scroll past on Facebook is rocking a tutu for some reason to do a 5k, but it’s still a pretty high number. That’s why there was no doubt in my mind that running was an adult hobby to tackle this week. While I’m still unsure why you would pay to run when you can literally do it for free every day of your life, I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to explore it a little deeper to understand why people go hard when it comes to taking this on as a pastime.
There was a woman on Wendy Williams this season who popped up during “Ask Wendy.” She had been training for a 10k, 5k, somethingK when she met a great guy. However, he wasn’t down for her spending a lot of her time training. Wendy told her to drop him. She agreed, and I agreed with the decision BUT it just goes to show how important marathons are to people who like to endure them. We’re not just talking about people who run one and then are done. No, the people we’re talking about live for them and in some cases have even gotten their kids into the mix. It may seem strange to those of us who’d rather binge Stranger Things than step outside, and even more so for those who haven’t seen a pair of running shoes since P.E. in high school – but as humans, we’re supposed to be active. And no, that’s not the Richard Simmons in me talking.
The Marathon Runner’s Handbook noted this, saying, “…the human body is designed to be tested physically, and that it rewards those who do so – as long as runners are sensible about their activity and take care to treat their body well.” This isn’t new though. Our ancestors had to be in shape in order to survive. The Handbook also touched on that aspect as well. The hunters that couldn’t keep up, well they were the ones that didn’t make it back to the homestead at the end of the day. We’re meant to move, but with technology having such a grasp on us as a whole – we’ve kind of gotten lazy as a society. Well, most of us. The ones not spending their free time training for, and running marathons throughout the year.
Like with any sort of competitive hobby, there is a sense of pride in knowing you did a great job at the end. Marathon runners are not only getting rewarded by their bodies for moving and likely surviving longer, they are also getting a mental satisfaction for a job well done. That mentality spans almost all hobbies though. Cosplayers feel it when they get praise at a convention for their detailed work, those into crafting smile wider when their stuff sells constantly on Etsy, and so forth and so on. For some, the idea of running to grab the phone is even a distant memory as they’re usually not far from our side. So running isn’t always the most normal thing for many. Some of us may hit the gym or go on a hike when we have time, but for those who run marathons – running is basically just as important to them as breathing. They all start out doing it for various reasons, but crossing that finish line – I’m sure they all have the same thought, “I did it. I fucking did it. Go me!”