One of the things I love about our choice of Adirondack vacation spots (Timberlock) is the chance to meet and chat with some really interesting people. There’s a definite like-mindedness there: we all appreciate the outdoors; we all welcome the lack of electricity and connectivity; and we all tend to lead pretty healthy, active lifestyles. That said, we come from all walks of life and I always enjoy hearing about the varying career paths and regions of the country represented.
I did all of my runs in the early morning hours there in order to be done in time for the 8:00 breakfast bell, which meant I was often coming to the table still in running clothes. This is always a conversation starter and there were fellow runners around, too (I even met a guy who had done the Lake Placid IronMan back in 1999, same as me!). But as with any time you are around a diverse group of people, you’re going to have a few skeptics about the lifestyles of the long-distance runner.
One of the fellow guests, who I genuinely like, respect and enjoy, is a pulmonologist. He weighed in one night on marathons, saying they “weren’t very good for you.” Rather than get upset by this, or argue it, though, I just gave him a smile and let it roll off my back. I do respect his opinion, and lately there have been some studies that suggest lots of long-distance events maybe aren’t so good for us–check out this recent article from the WSJ.
The point is, we’re always going to have naysayers in our lives about our choice of activity. The “it will ruin your knees” crowd. And I know many people get up in arms when a sedentary, unhealthy person questions our choices. But I don’t. I love what I do and I’m lucky to have it. It’s a gift and I’m not going to sweat it (pun intended) if someone else sees it as anything differently.
Does it bother you when non-runners question your lifestyle? How do you handle it?