Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Facebook Runners

I sit down, open Facebook, and start to scroll.

Jesus Christ, look at these people.
Running, running running.

Here they are running through the desert, on a dirt trail, along the ridge
On beaches, among grass, through rivers, over snow
Sharing runs, posting runs, writing about runs

Who are these people? Are they insane?

Here I am at my latest run!
Here's a climb I did up to the highest peak, look at me!
Here's me and a bunch of other people standing at the top - whoo-hoo!

Jesus Christ, seriously? Don't you people have more important things to be getting on with?
Don't you have jobs, responsibilities, families?
What about earning a living?
What about your future, the future of your kids? What about what's going on in other places?
What about the problems that are going on in the world RIGHT NOW that are real and convoluted and downright depressing, but still demand our attention - did you give any though to any of THAT?

I don't think you did. You were too busy running.

And here, look at this one. This one spent 13.5 hours on the trail yesterday doing a 50 miler.
50 miles, really? Like none of us have ever done that before.
We know what that feels like. We know that feeling of exertion, of slogging, of the extended pain and exhaustion. Of moving forward on your own two feet, sometimes stumbling, sometimes weary, but always moving forward.
13.5 hours on the trail...

Actually, that sounds like heaven.

No, wait. I'm getting off-topic. I'm getting away from my point. The point I'm making here is how fickle all of this running stuff is.
There's real stuff going on in this world, folks, real issues.
There's stuff to be grappled with. I'm not sensing enough grappling.
I'm sensing mostly miles and smiles, if I'm being honest with you.

But me, I think about these things.
I am thoughtful and invested, and not at all fickle. I am deep like the ocean.
I have worries, concerns, responsibilities.
I certainly think about many things other than running.
I care
Sometimes I care too much.

I think about these things so much it bothers me.
It bothers me.
It bothers me...
Good God, it bothers me.

This line of thinking is not so good - I've got to get outside. Perhaps a quick run.

Just to clear the head, you understand - get outside and charge up some foothills. Burn off some steam. Gain some elevation, then look around and remember what is still good and beautiful and worth doing in this world. Say hello to passing runners, or just find a good spot to sit and watch the world go by. Or run hard down the trail, letting gravity take over as the legs turn over faster and faster, and feel the joy come bubbling up... then do it again.

And my gosh, those flowers! So pretty! Let's take a picture.
And that view, astounding! I've never seen the light in quite that way.
Another picture.

The run is over - back to the apartment. Time to get cleaned up and get on with the day.
Oh, and might as well share these pictures.

While we're at it, here are some thoughts I had while I was out there - pretty revolutionary, I have to say. Not to toot my own horn, but it's pithy stuff.
And let's add a comment about how I got out there.
And a note about temperature.
And a remark on the weather, and what I wore.
And the name of the trailhead - perhaps these details will help someone else
Get out to that same spot.

And... post.

I walk over to take a shower, then come back and check for "likes"
Realizing all the while
That I am no better or worse
No more deep or less fickle
Than any of the rest.


  1. I'm gonna #humblebrag while busting a sponsored-selfie. And shit.

  2. Its the look at me society. The phone has changed everything. Im with Howie on this one. Im pretty sure people would rather see pictures of my dog. Some I believe post just to brag.... I don't believe that you are one of them :)