Thursday, November 14, 2013

Get Over It

OK, You're a Runner. Get Over It.

Running a marathon is hard enough without also patting yourself on the back every step of the way.

The above is a link to an article written by Chad Stafko. I cannot even recall who originally shared this with me but my first reaction was...WTF? Is this guy trying to be funny or just a d-bag? In this little article, Mr. Stafko talks about runners and the stickers, tee shirts, etc. and equates that it is all done for show and attention. 

Really? Really?? *shaking head*

I drive a Big Rev3 Blue station wagon adorned with stickers. Distances.
13.1     26.2      70.3    140.6 
proudly displayed on the back of my ride.
I have a TRIATHLETE sticker. A Rev3 sticker. A RAGNAR 2013 sticker. I have a  pink SWIM BIKE RUN sticker. A runnergirl sticker.

Are these stickers there for YOU? 

No. They are there for me.

My little visual checklist of accomplishments. 

I am very well aware that more than 50% of the population of the area where I live does not even KNOW what any of these stickers symbolize. Or what they mean to ME. Or the obstacles that I have overcome to earn those silly little stickers. 

Or how these numbers have taught me that I am strong, I am determined and I have the ability to challenge myself push myself to reach goal after goal. 

A paragraph from the article reads: 

Why would someone want to get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles adorned with fluorescent tape to avoid being struck by someone who has the good sense to use a car for a 10-mile journey?
I have a theory. There is no more visible form of strenuous exercise than running. When runners are dashing down a street in the middle of town or through a subdivision, they know that every driver, every pedestrian, every leaf-raker and every person idly staring out a window can see them.

Let me assure you Mr. Stafko, I do not run for drivers, pedestrians, leaf-rakers or anyone watching out their window. I can also assure you that any of MY friends who run are not doing it for these reasons either. 
I run for me. I run for the way it makes me feel. I run because it literally saved my life.
I run for my family. I run for my daughter. I run for my mother-in-law (who cannot). 
I run for freedom. I run for therapy
I run because I can. 
Running has brought so much INTO my life, that I cannot imagine a life without running or moving. 
Perhaps that writer was trying to be funny, sarcastic or controversial. Who knows what his intent is here...but should he be dissing on people who are UP and MOVING in a country were the obesity epidemic is out of control?  Mr. Stafko, I encourage you to celebrate your support of the sedentary with that 0.0 sticker and rock on.
I will continue to adorn my ride with additional distances I conquer. 50k, 50 miles, 100 name it. I love seeing the stickers on cars out there. I love the camaraderie that is there in the running and triathlon community. 
If you don't like it, that's ok too. Because I don't do it for you.

What are you thoughts?
Do you "stickerize"?
Brag away, I want to hear from you!


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I love how the people I know that don't know what the stickers mean will ASK about them. And I'll eagerly explain it to them. You know what just occurred to me??? There's no 5k sticker out there! At least I haven't seen it. That's a huge accomplishment and sorely missing on my vehicle! And so what if I am bragging? If he's annoyed with it, then he's jealous. There are worse things I could be advertising!

Kelly Caiazzo said...

I love your response! That's for posting the Stafko article to begin with, it fired me up enough to write my own response Ok, We're Happy to be Runners. Get over it. and is really generating some discussion among the active community. I think he's going to see MORE people wearing shirts and displaying bumper stickers now.

You should do it for you... and as a byproduct, I know for certain you've inspired others.

John Hulsey said...

What a douchebad. He wrote it as "click bait," to be purposely controversial so others would read his blog. Too bad he can't manage clever, instead.

Jennifer Boudreau said...

he's a dbag. I love the stickers. My bff's son said the stickers on her car motivates others to do better! Think of it that way!

When I see all of the stickers - I think BADASS!

Jen said...

Love this post. I read his article and had no words… You found the words. Thank you.

CautiouslyAudacious said...

totally do stickers I figure it's better than a bunch of tattoos :-) I do try to limit the amount of time I talk about my endurance endeavors though cause not everyone loves to talk about races and training! :-) To each their own I suppose. I say wear it proudly!

Krista said...

Um, I would not have any business if people didn't advertise that they run or bike or swim since I own a sport themed store (shameless self-promotion and Not only do I think it is cool to love your sport that much that you show that love on your car or your shirt or whatever, but I also think it carries such a positive message to kids. When I have kids, I would much rather have them see me heading off to yoga or out for a run, then sitting around watching movies. I think people who don't like the mileage stickers on cars have some personal issue with runners or triathletes not the promotion of the sport itself. Me, I just get annoyed by the stick family stickers! ;)

Anonymous said...

I rock the 70.3 sticker.

And I prefer to run on trails where no one sees me :)

AND I'd love to bike on roads without drivers, too!!

Harold said...

Like you I run because I can. I have a Team RWB, Maine Running, 5k on one side of my tail gate (yes I drive a damn truck) and 26.2 on the other side, to show that I have run those distances and insinuates that I have run those inbetween as well. :-)

At some point, I don't really care what others besides my family think about my running (they support it), I do it to stay healthy, meet other people and have fun.

Yes I enjoy running those long runs and leaving my truck at home or finding nice trail in the area and enjoying the great outdoors.

I will keep running,training hard and having fun while I am doing it. Sounds an awful lot like what you are doing :-)

Erin said...

I totally rock an M-dot 70.3 sticker & a "Biked it. Liked it." 100 mile sticker from America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. I had 13.1 & 26.2 stickers on my old car but I haven't replaced them since I haven't done either since 2008, but if I do another, I'll absolutely add them. They are there solely for me, tho I do love it when I see similar stickers on other cars because I know how they feel. Kindred spirits, ya know? :)

Carrie said...

Rock those stickers! I know I do…and I do it for me!

ajh said...

My stickers disappeared when I traded cars. I need to get more. All runners should be proud. That guy was ridiculous.

Erica R-A said...

I run for Jesus! (Enough said) I don't waste my time on people like this man who will NEVER understand

Erica R-A said...

I run for JESUS! (Enough said) I wouldn't waste my time on a person like this who will never understand.

Bryonman said...

While I don't sticker or tatt ... I am in the minority. I don't judge stickers or tatts. I also don't judge non-endurance and non-fitness people.

Like you - the endurance lifestyle is extending my life in so many ways.

Good job!


I used to have every 140.6 race sticker from every race I have done (7) including the DNF (1) on my car. It started to look like one of those cars where the people went to every State in the Union and got stickers from every RV park they stayed at and every attraction along the way (biggest wod of yarn comes to mind). You are correct, it was for me and not for the masses that had no clue what they meant anyway. But after years and years they fade and you may actually enter a new phase (or not) and that is OK if you do or don't. After all, they are for you and no one else.

I saw a guy with a "0.0" on his car. He actually looked very fit. I asked him about it, he said he actually does ride long distances but apparently not in races. He uses it as a converstaion piece for complete strangers like me

justme said...

i have yet to do a full marathon or ironman, done a half marathon and olympic tri, i think that i would only use sticker if i have done several and i would only use the top number - just me