The 10 Most Annoying Things about Being a Runner
By Chaim Wizman
1) Stupid Questions: My all time favorite is being asked absolutely everywhere I go "so, did you run here?" Yes, you moron. I am at a wedding 90 Kilometers from home, dressed in a long sleeve white shirt, cotton pants and dress shoes but I ran here and somehow arrived on time to eat the greasy Moroccan cigars without sweating. You would be utterly amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people think that asking you this question makes them sound dazzlingly amusing.
2) Bleeding Nipples: The first time I saw the thin trail of blood on my running shirt, I thought that I needed serious medical intervention. As I became more experienced, I realized it was just plain old chafing which can be avoided by applying generous globs of Vaseline on your nipples. Still, I've hit some impressively high notes screaming in the shower when the hot water first makes contact with my nipples.
3) Trampled Toes: It is one of the inexorable laws of nature that your children will step on your big toe multiple times on the day that you do your long run, sending you into paroxysms of agony. Please note that your children will be very disturbed if they see you actually shedding tears in response to their little faux pas, so do try and suck it up like a man.
4) Not being welcomed home like the Conquering Hero after a Run: You have just finished a gut busting workout and you head for home glistening with sweat and glowing with pride. You walk into the house expecting your loved ones to marvel at your fitness and discipline. Instead, your wife tells you that you smell like an old tube sock and she sends you out to do menial errands. You think the Kenyans have to put up with these indignities?
5) Getting Chased By Bedouin Sheep Dogs: The sight of a flock of sheep grazing in the hills is a majestic and tranquil site but the minute I get within 500 meters of the flock, I am invariably confronted by at least three snarling Bedouin guard dogs. I always try to make eye contact with the shepherd and wave so that he'll call the dogs off but I'm convinced that my feeble attempt at friendship is actually a profoundly insulting gesture in Bedouin culture since more often than not, this just results in the dogs chasing me farther and faster. Some of my best interval sessions have been run with growling sheep dogs in hot pursuit.
6) Beehives on the Running Trails: Yes, I cried during the Bee Movie like everyone else and I know that bees are necessary to pollinate all the beautiful fields that we run through. But I never understood why the white bee boxes have to be camouflaged and placed within a few centimeters of the trail. By the time, you realize they are there, you have several hundred, seriously ticked off bees vying for the privilege of inserting their stingers into the back of your neck.
7) Stolen Water: I am careless and even a bit reckless by nature. So, the only time I bother to leave water along my running route is when I am running long and the weather forecast predicts some serious heat. Imagine my chagrin then, when I exhaustedly plod the last few hundred meters to my carefully concealed water bottle, fantasizing about the cool liquid replenishing my dehydrated body, only to discover that some inconsiderate kleptomaniac has pilfered my stash. Oh well, there's always the gas station 10 kilometers down the road.
8) Rude Bikers: Workouts that begin at 4:30 AM foster a certain sense of camaraderie. I take pride in greeting absolutely every athlete I encounter along the way with a hearty "Boker Tov" regardless of how out of breath I am at that moment. Therefore, it has always irritated me that bikers, all decked out in their shiny yellow jerseys and obscene looking tights, refuse to acknowledge my greeting even when I am running up a steep hill holding on for dear life and they are zipping down that same hill on their 20,000 shekel bikes, while sipping their isotonic drinks. And people ask me why I don't do triathlons.
9) Dubious Nutrition: Why is it that every time anyone sees me eating junk food, they ask me incredulously, "you eat that?" Duh. One of the main reasons I run is because it allows me to consume copious quantities of the fine products manufactured by the M & M Mars Company without looking like an OOMPA LOOMPA. Don't people recognize the difference between a runner and a monk?
10) Nomenclature: Nothing is more profoundly insulting to a runner than being called a "jogger". Joggers are people who shuffle, waddle or amble at a pace that is barely faster than walking. Runners gracefully zip by aerodynamically, leaving their observers agape with admiration at the ineffable grace they have just witnessed. Call me a snob if you must but don't ever call me a jogger.