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Title:What Ever Happened To [...] #1029
Date:Friday November 8th, 2013
[Default Article Image][Happy "Bad," everyone! As in, today is "Bad Joke Friday" once more. And the chatter lately all throughout our little whirled of ultradom has been abuzz with bad jokes having nothing to do with ultrarunning. Everything from hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (fear of bib number 666 ;-) to James Earl Ray's old Brushy Mountain Penitentiary being turned into a DISTILLERY (!) and tourist attraction (!!!) has been joked about. Did y'all know, by the way, that Mr. Ray's old prison (that he once escaped from) is now a checkpoint ON the Barkley Marathons course? Ha ha! And apparently the Tennessee State Legislature has just voted to make it an aid station as well. (Ha ha ha.) Gatorade, boiled potatoes, and moonshine. Can't ya just see it? Never mind. Today's "bad joke" has nothing to do with that. No, it's about some peeps' apparent requirement to turn running and racing into some kind of needs gratification therapy, positive reinforcement stimuli, extra swag or grand plan motivator for getting out the door in the first (or possibly last) place. Let's do it.]

The Obama Administraction Presents…

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO [just running] ?

OMG. NOW… ya gotta buy a Garmin. Or a Suunto. Or a handy-dandy Dick Tracy Two-Way Wrist Radio & Television Set. Before you should ever even *think* of lacing up your dirty shoes and heading out the door, you first need to strap something on your arm that will do everything for you (including the breakfast dishes) while you're on your way.

There are devices out there that will chart/map/and/compute your progress--by the minute-per-mile, by the miles-per-hour, by the altitude gained (and lost), by the terrain, by the satellite, down by the seaside selling seashells (and automatically converting your currency into whatever's used by the 3rd World country whose border you just crossed) to up on the Chimney Top (or whatever else the hill you're climbing might be called) to over the river and through the woods to grandmother's trail you go. No kidding. It's all about "the apps." It's all about what you can download into your wristwatch--or cell phone--and then upload into your desktop--or laptop or notebook or tablet or whatever else today's version of the Etch-a-Sketch is.

So. What ever happened to just lacing up those dirty shoes and running out your door?

The free and the easy! The uncomplicated! The unencumbered! The T-shirt (or no shirt), the short-shorts (who remembers onion-skin?), the tube socks, and the Converse All-Stars? Just leave your analog dial silver Swiss wristwatch there on the coffee table. You won't be needing it.

What ever in the world happened to… The Jogging Movement? You know, you'd be driving along the 4-lane and there'd be all *those people* slogging at snail's pace along the wrong side of the road, taking over one full lane of the highway.

Whatever happened to just parking the car by the side of that road and then running awhile? Whatever happened to *streaking* [in the naked sense of the term ;) not the every-single-day-of-your-life kind]? Oh wait, recently there was this totally buff chickie-poo scampering across the golf course, eh? During the President's Cup? (Was it Obama's cup? ALL this is now, after all, apparently due to HIS "administraction," eh? Ya think?)

I'll tell ya what happened. There's been an eleventh commandment recently passed: Thou Shalt NOT Run Free-and-Easy and Naturally (or au naturale) Like Some Kinda Born-Free Lion. Thou shalt BUY--and buy into--*stuff* first.

You need a gimmick. And not only on your wrist but also in your head. And ears!

There needs to be iTunes. Ya gotta have earphones. And you need to be able to re-shuffle your playlist as you go.

There's gotta be: M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N. Otherwise, apparently, you won't get up off the couch. Ever! You'll decompose RIGHT THERE while watching the whole rest of the world buy Garmins and GPSes and wristwatches and fully-loving Subarus that take you "out there" in the first place, out to where you CAN'T get lost ***IF*** you're buying your Garmins and GPSes and wristwatches and whutchamacallits from Joe's. Joe's Sporting Goods, Joe's Running Store, Joe's Way-Cool Apparel Boutique, Joe's Crab Shack, and a Joe's Subaru Dealership near you. Hurry! These exciting offers are available for a limited time only!

After that, you're on your own. And you will be horribly, horribly lost. Your car won't start, your email won't get answered, you won't have a clue how fast (or slow or high or low) you're going, your stars won't be aligned, and your wheels WILL come off. Your E.D. will limp in. You WON'T be ready. Your bride will leave you, taking the Subaru, and you'll be stuck miles away from granny's trailhead without all of the zillion things necessary that enable you to complete your run today.

These days, ya gotta have races--with swag, lots and lots of it, and a beautiful bronze-cast medal to be draped around your neck when you finish. "To win is to finish." E-V-E-R-Y BODY can do this! Try it! There's a for-profit running and training group formulating near you soon!

[This just in. My nephew tells me that CrossFit gyms charge $100 A WEEK (!!!) for their own particular training group that you can sign up for soon. Dishes-doing wristwatches with heartbeat monitors and every-other-possible-app in the Apple store may be optional inside the gym, but… you won't be cool if you're not wearing one. Oh, and the Spandex outfit needs to be cool, too, and match; and the neon glow-in-the-dark shoes need to be new, and clean!]

For motivation to get out the door, you can now sign-up on-line any-time for all manner of "formulating near you" voluntarily-reporting training programs. There are "daily mile" websites, "run-every-single-damn-day" streak-like e-addresses to report to, and running club type sites where, if you hit your self-projected or coach-dictated mileage quota for the month, the duck will come down, Groucho will yak, and you'll win the "prize" in its mouth: probably a free month's membership to next month's quota.

[A good friend that many of us know also maintains a monthly mileage reporting thingamajig that supposedly challenges runners to be the first to reach one million miles. Holey Samoley! Even a cat with nine lives would have trouble with that one. Still though, he has built it and, yea oh yea, they have come.]

So, today? Today **before** you even think about hunkering down, tying your shoes, and slamming the storm door behind you, you'd better sit your ass in front of a monitor. You'd better be actively activating your Search Engines. E-bay? Yup. Fleet Feet? You betcha. Neiman Marcus? Well… may be!

Before you ever even start to strip down, lace up, and lunge out, you had best be on-lined, coach signed-up, the day's mileage prophesies e-mailed-in, all latest apps downloaded, on-wrist-computer pre-programmed, arm-band iTunes all shuffled, ear plugs inserted, outfit color-coordinated, toe-socks pulled on, glow-in-the-dark new shoes taken out of their shipping boxes... and THEN--and only then--are you permitted, by law and peer pressure, to get up and go.

And to think I gave up golf--because it was too expensive--for this.

( O_O )

Yours troubly,

The Troubadour
"your friendly neighborly eight-hundred-year-old-hyphenated and pre-programmed lute-plucking song-and-dance man from France, now heading out-of-doors"

Yankee Folly of the Day:
How does that old joke go? "I gave up bowling for sex: the balls are lighter and you don't have to change your shoes." Well, I'm giving up running (possibly sex too) for bowling: you can just "come as you are" and, heck, RENT the damn shoes.
Posted:November 8th, 2013 5:37 pm
Last Update:November 8th, 2013 5:54 pm
Last View:June 19th, 2021 4:37 am
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