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On arguing about running or not running

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  November 15, 2013 08:14 AM

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A perk and pitfall of my job here is that I get to see what articles and trends are capturing people's attention on a fairly broad scale.

It's fascinating to see, actually. And, sometimes, those trends hit close to home and fit right in my wheelhouse.

Take for example, the chatter over these two articles about runners/running. The first was a piece in the Wall Street Journal (an opinion column I'll note) called OK, You're a Runner. Get Over It.

The writer, it seemed to me upon reading the piece, was simply saying he feels the vast majority of people (in this case he's focusing on runners) out there are oversharing. In a world where it has become so easy to share (heck, look at me, I blog and am all over the social channels all day long) he's grown tired of it because some of it, though not all, he noted in one paragraph, seems disingenuous.

So noted, Mr. Stafko. There certainly more ways for a person to amplify their voice or thoughts on a certain subject matter. I would argue, though, that these people you are referring to have always been around. We're just seeing them more due to a little thing called exposure.

It was a lot easier to ignore the person who wore nothing but running race shirts when they were simply out shopping for a running magazine. Now, however, they are out shopping for a running magazine in their running t-shirt and taking a photo of themselves doing so and then posting that photo to their Facebook running group, which then will be shared socially with their equally passionate runner friends and will thus somehow by sheer volume of shares or dumb luck, wind up in your newsfeed.

Not that I speak from experience.

The Runner's World response to Mr. Stafko's piece, was meant to deflate his argument a bit and simply tell the runners of the world that he's just a disgruntled human being.

Based on the tone of this response, it was crafted as tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek. And, while I am a passionate runner who took umbrage with some of the things Stafko said, I think it missed the mark.

In my experience, the runners I have met and run with have been kind and accepting of all people, even, GASP, non-runners.

So Stafko doesn't like people who wear nothing but running shirts. So the 26.2 or 13.1 stickers bother him. So he thinks, maybe, perhaps, some people are just being showy.

Runner's World knows, probably better than many publications, that that view has always been around.

But who cares?

Whether you are one of those people who needs to talk (or in my case write) about everything you're doing, or whether you're one of those people who just puts their head down and grinds, it simply does not matter.

The road I run is wide enough for everyone. We don't have to agree, we just need to learn how to share the space.

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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