Doing Crazy Stuff

I’ve done some things that I believe are crazy. I’ve run marathons, I’ve ridden a century, I’ve jumped off of a cliff into a lake, I’ve kayaked, and so on. I would do any of them again, except for maybe the marathon, as everything was done in what I would consider a “safe” way. I had trained for them, had guides, scouted out the lake beforehand, etc.

I have some running buddies, though, who do some things that I simply don’t think are smart. They do these ultramarathons, some of them running over 100 miles in a single 24-hour period. There are two types of these…in one, you run the full distance of the race within a timeframe. Maybe 36 hours maximum for a 100 mile race. In others, the clock is set and you run as far as you can, say the max number of miles within 24 hours.

These things are not normal, and I don’t think they are even safe. You can darn-near guarantee injury from a 100 mile run. Blisters, puking, busted feet, you name it. They even change shoes a few times during the race because they may get wet or bloody. They take a “crew” with them to run segments, because someone has to keep them focused on what their doing and make them not stop. They basically need someone sane there to keep their minds right.

When my running buddies do these things, I always offer them congratulations when I see them, but not for what they think. I congratulate them on meeting their goal, AND THAT IS IT. I wouldn’t set this goal for myself, and I don’t congratulate them publicly on their Facebook pages, and I certainly don’t tell them that they are “inspirational”, though they get a lot of those kinds of comments.

They are simply nuts, and I think it would be irresponsible of me to encourage them, or others, to do such events publicly. I wouldn’t congratulate that dude who climbed El Capitan for National Geographic a month ago without any safety gear. I wouldn’t congratulate someone for doing some crazy-ass breath-holding competition. I wouldn’t congratulate Joey Chestnutt for eating 9879 hot dogs in one sitting. That kind of stuff is just dumb!

So if you go out and run some 100 miler, don’t expect me to post congratulations on your status. I’m happy for you that you have met your goal and I will certainly congratulate you for that in person when I see you, but I don’t think it’s sane and I sure don’t want to make anyone else think about doing the same stuff. You’re nuts and that’s all there is to it.

Written on July 1, 2017