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In Defense of Running

This article really chaps my hide. This guy asserts that running is an exercise in self-congratulation, and a way for those of us who do long-distance running to look down our noses at those who don't. Trust me, Mr. Stafko, I am not thinking about you during my runs. I am enjoying the feeling of my feet meeting the pavement, enjoying the sound of my measured breathing, and the feeling of the rhythm of my pace. I love feeling the sun on my face, and (cheesy as this sounds) the feeling of the wind on my bare skin. I am lucky enough to live in Chicago, and I get to run on the lakefront any time I want. I am lucky that Chicago has set aside such an amazing resource for it's runners, bikers, and walkers. I am lucky enough to live in a city that hosts the country's largest 8k race (the Shamrock Shuffle), and one of the country's best marathons. I've been privileged to run in both numerous times. Long-distance running is not about showing off. It's not about "being seen." It's about setting goals, and working to achieve them. Running is my meditation. It is my stress-relief. It is the only way I was able to get through the ridiculously difficult, painful, stressful, gut-wrenching year I had. The support I had from the distance-running community in Chicago during that time saved me. Completely. I'd have been lost without them. So, Mr. Stafko, STFU. I'll keep running. I'll keep setting goals for myself, and feeling great when I accomplish them. I'll keep approaching life with positivity, rather than tearing down a community I don't understand with my bitterness. I wish there were a sticker for that.


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