There is something to be said about the habits that make humans, in general, disgusting beings. But even moreso, our breed, the long distance runner, must look like a pack of farm animals when compared to our fellow humans (not to offend the farm animals out there)…
I mean, seriously, what other group of classified individuals are capable of overloading the carrying capacity of a hundred or so port-a-johns in record time?
Both participants and spectators of even just a few track meets know what I am talking about…
We are talking smell-ridden, rectangular dungeon-like cubicles, overflowing with distinguishable dinners dumped before they were fully digested. Well, that person must have had corn with dinner last night... Each and every door opens up to reveal a potentially threatening soiled-toilet-paper-touching-your-ass scenario. If you don’t master the skill of an artfully balanced stand-sit-squat, you’re doomed.
To note, I really am glad we have gotten the “poop” talk out of the way (one step closer to true friendship).
Which brings me to my next point: What other group of civilized people regularly talk amongst each other on the subject of their daily digestive health, conversing about it just as casually as one were to comment on the weather? ”Looks like this will be a shitty run today…” says Person A stretching out and looking upward at the cloudy sky. Person B understandingly recognizes Person A is not talking about the aforementioned clouds. Often times further detailed discussion ensues, of which the detailed details should not be detailed.
And of course there are the other habits of runner folks that are undeniably disgusting. My dad was appalled while biking beside me this November and keeping me company on a long run, as I slowed to a jog, pushed one nostril closed with my index finger, clearing my nose with a loud exhale and launching a well-practiced and successful snot rocket. ”My daughter just blew a farmer’s snot,” he muttered as if he just witnessed the very reason why I was lonely and single, while also coming to the realization there is almost no hope for me to change that fact anytime soon if I keep to these runner habits.
But to stand up for ourselves, runners really do clean up nice. This fact is supported by my most recent travels to the Mt. Sac relays, in which I happily laid down in the grass in between warm-ups, cool-downs and races to stare upside down and not so blatantly at all the passerby runners looking quite fly and fit in his/her chosen style of spandex shorts, accessorizing the six pack that goes along with.
Furthermore, my favorite time of the year falls around NCAA’s, when prior to the Championship races all qualifying athletes dress up in formal attire and attend a dinner banquet. Now, I cannot speak for other teams, but my Western State teammates and I engage in a game called “Pick your Pony/ Select your Stallion” to pass the time.
While other athletes are politely accepting awards and eating dinner, we creepily scan the field of specimen and individually pick our own favorites in each category, based shallowly on looks alone. ”I’m gonna have me some of that!!” or a simple “Hello,” and “Holler!,” might be heard from the Western State table of athletes at the banquet, in between bites of salad and spaghetti. Creepy indeed. But we “ain’t nothing but mammals,” right? (Thanks Bloodhound Gang.)
I guess there are pro’s and con’s to any life commitment really. With the good comes the bad. The point I am trying to make here is, same thing applies to the daunting task of living/breeding/dating/mating/ (choose your own adventure) with a runner.
Despite that Hercules-esque banging body exterior runners are so proud to prance around in, we too, are gross individuals- right along with the rest of our fellow humans.
Focusing on the negative aspects like the true pessimist-realist I am, what in your opinion is the biggest runner faux pas committed, regarding attractiveness?
Here are of my observational suggestions to get things flowing, like the tops of those Port-a-Johns…:
-Wearing spandex anywhere and everywhere.
-Squatting anywhere and everywhere.
-Blowing snot rockets.
“I’d appreciate your input.” –Bloodhound Gang