Sunday, January 20

Can't we all just get along?

Ever get frustrated by an over-crowded gym at the beginning of January?
Image source
My, haven't we all!
But... maybe we shouldn't.


In the post Attack of the resolutionists, Fat Slow Triathlete targets the angst that many of us feel as the typical January influx of newbies overrun "our" gym (only to disappear by February 1).

FST then turns the situation on its head:
So here's the thing ... try to swallow your irritation... our intent is to ensure that people seek out fitness no matter their perceived obstacles. The sad truth is that some of us have become the obstacles. By making people feel uncomfortable, or out of place, we chase these newbies out of "our gyms" or aways from "our parks". These people take shelter back into their comfort zones; their homes, their TV's, their foods. Not to be seen again until January of the next year.
It's important that everyone exercise regularly, because new research shows that the brain benefits of exercise begin to wear off after a period of inactivity.

Maybe by reaching out to that lost-looking newbie we can encourage another budding athlete?
Image source


Continuing the "who is annoying who?" theme... Last month Gina Kolata of the New York Times asked why runners inspire extreme resentment in others. Our talk of training plans and our 13.1 and 26.2 bumper stickers apparently elicit eye rolls from the non-runners among us.

Maybe I'm too deeply entrenched in my love of running to notice when other people cast aspersions on my sweaty self, but I wondered "why anyone would roll their eyes at my bumper sticker?" I smile when I see another 13.1, 26.2, or (way to go, triathlete!) 140.6!

And then I read a Washington Post article about oversharing parents.
(Warning: do not read the last example while eating lunch...)

And something clicked.

I do roll my eyes at some outward displays of pride.

I have a particularly strong reaction to the bumper stickers: "My child is an honor student" and the flippant response "My child beat up your honor student." Both make me cringe a little (the latter more than the former, of course).

We are, it seems, all inflicted with the same diseases: pride and passion.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we're not all passionate about the same things.

That leaves us with three choices:
  1. We can avoid those who don't share our passions,
  2. We can tone it down and stop talking about what we love in order to accommodate the preferences of other people, or
  3. We can fly the freak flag proudly, and (this is the important bit) be similarly respectful of those who are passionate about a subject we find perplexing.
Option one sounds like the least conflict-inducing, but mine would be a mighty lonely world if I were only friends with globe-trotting runners. Similarly, I suspect non-runners would miss out on a lot if they refused to be friends with anyone who ever ran a 5k.

While I don't and won't talk all about running all the time (so I suppose I do practice a bit of option 2), I would hope that my friends and colleagues would accept my recreational endeavors the way I accept their love of knitting, baking, bike-riding, or repairing classic cars. If it makes them happy, it makes me happy. (Just don't expect me to go hang gliding with you...)

So... I'm strongly leaning toward option three.

I will curtail my eye rolls over the honors student bumper stickers. I will suspend my beliefs about the healthful benefits of being outdoors for those who dedicate hours of their day to MMGS. And those t-shirts that proudly announce where you've been, where you're from, or where you want to go? Right on!

We all have a right to be proud of the things we're passionate about.

Let's just accept it and move on.

What's a pet-peeve you have?
What's one you'd like to let go of?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Penny for your thoughts?