Whispering: I’ve made an appointment at the doc’s and he is going to give me that cortisone injection I’m craving – his only condition is that I must come in for a consult – I suppose it is to cover himself.
However this has now started me on a train of thought. And that train is the following – how privileged we are as middle class runners but also can we really classify ourselves as proper runners?
As middle class runners we have all the gadgets and vitamins and nutrion and medical help we can think of and can ask for.
I run in shoes that is specific to my natural running style and I’ll only run with a pair for a maximum of 1,000 km’s, I have energy gels to keep me going when I’m tired. I have recovery shoes and pants for after the race. I have carbo loading drinks for before the race and a recovery drink for after the race. When I hurt something I go to the physio, the doctor or the massage therapist. We eat nutritional food. My other running clothes are all the brand names that is supposed to make you run easier (not faster in my case because I can not run fast). I have lotions to help against blistering and chaving. We have watches and GPs’s and heart rate monitors. We have cars to take us to the runs and we still complain that we have to get up so early.
Then you get the runners that stand next to the road that early in the morning hitchiking to get to the race or they’ll run to the race or they get on a bus, taxi or train to get to the race. These are the people that will run in any old short and obviously their club vest because you have to have a club vest according to the rules. These people run with shoes that have thousands of kilometers on it. Some have soles that is coming away from their shoes, they may run with one sock or no socks at all, they have none of these new fangled running devices or gear. They run for the absolute love of it and the joy of being out and using your body.
And these guys will be in front of me at each and every race and they will be back next week and they just keep going. However when I do pass them they will always have a kind word to say – mostly: “nice going sista”.
It humbles me and makes me so grateful for what I have.
But do you know what makes it even better. To give one of those guys a pair of socks that you bought on a sale or to give him a pair of shoes that you did not want because it hurt your feet. And to see the gratitude in that man’s eyes and to feel the sweaty smelly hug after a marathon that you both suffered through and nobody cares because we all share the same love – the love of running. That is wonderful and that is something I wish we can carry onto the rest of society and to share some kind of common love or goal and forget about all the ‘isms and ‘heid’s of the past.
We have a friend that joined us at a few race events and he had two comments about the culture of running:
1. It is the only time ever that he has seen everybody in SA integrate so easily.
2. Why do all runners que for the toilets before the race? (However that is a story for another day)
The spirit of running….