Snooty Runners

During Storm Nemo, I strayed from the usual blogs I read… Not to replace them, of course, but I did have all that extra, snowed-in time on hand, so I thought I’d see what else was going on in the blogging community.

In my ‘travels’, I came across several blog posts on unrelated blogs, which surprised me.  No, no, that is too kind of a word to use. I was left feeling sad and furious, all at the same time.

These blog posts, written by young women, made fun of joggers who run and don’t look the part. They made fun of runners who run with baggy shorts, running shoes that aren’t up to par, and unmatching outfits.  One blog called such runners ‘an embarrassment’.  Another blog said that joggers (a word, which the author used with disdain to describe anyone running under 6 miles an hour) might as well be sitting on the couch and eating popcorn.

Yet another blogger wrote of how she can tell the time at the gym by looking around her… She wrote about Snooze Hour (when the ‘old’ people move around the gym), The Stampede (when the ‘over-weight’ crowd arrives), The Missfits (those who don’t look the part), and Happy Hour (when the ‘real’ runners come out to play).

I was beyond upset, because there are so many women (and men) out there who are afraid to step into a gym… or to even run outside in their own neighborhoods.  Because they’re afraid of being judged.  They’re afraid that their body doesn’t measure up to the other runners or that their clothes aren’t good enough.  And so instead of making an attempt or at least getting outside and doing what they can, they hide away and bury their desire to try.

Because suddenly, they’re not just being attacked by the magazines, commercials, and movies that portray unrealistic body images and that say ‘you’re not good enough until you look, move, and dress a certain way’.  They also feel judged by those around them.  By us.

To those bloggers I have to ask…

Who are you to say what a runner must look like?

Who are you to say that a runner has to move a certain speed before they shouldn’t be allowed to run at all?

Who are you to make fun of someone who is trying?

Who are any of us to do that?

So what if someone runs around town at a speed slower than you deem sufficient?  They’re doing it.  They’re getting out there, and moving, and getting their heart-rate up.  Maybe their goal in life isn’t to win a marathon.  Maybe they just want to fight off a bit of stress and burn a few calories.

Who are you to say that’s not good enough?

As women, we need to stick together and bring each other up. We need to encourage and motivate each other to see true beauty.  We need to say “yes, you can” and not “no, you shouldn’t.”

So to sum this up, I will say that I understand that these bloggers are the authors of their own blogs and that they have the rights to their own opinions…  And I’m sure they thought they were being clever, tongue-in-cheek, and funny.

But I also have the right to my opinion.  And in my opinion, those posts are nothing short of cruel.


11 thoughts on “Snooty Runners

  1. Amen, sistah! Apparently I would be a huge embarrassment (have you seen what I wear running? Haha!) Oh well. I wouldn’t want to stop and say hello to anyone who thought that way of me or anyone else anyways.

    This gets me mad (as you know!) Because we all started somewhere, and obviously some people forget about that. I run an average of 2 miles per day instead of the 6 that I used to…and you know what? I’m in way better shape than I ever was and I’m much (MUCH) happier. Does that make me a “non runner?” Does that make me a (gasp) “jogger”?

    Give me a break!

  2. I’d love to hear what they’d think of my mismatched winter running outfits which are usually some shade of blue yoga pants, short sleeve and long sleeve layers of various colours and a purple jacket. I like to top it off with an open ended hat. And it takes me well over an hour to run 6 miles…the end of it being slower than my walking pace! Do I care? No way. The fact I’m out running in the winter makes me feel good. And as Sarah said above, they had to start somewhere.

  3. ugh that makes me mad. I run in cotton ts and old shorts all day everyday. And that is just me. However, I think I would consider myself a runner despite all that. it is all about just getting out there and using your body. who cares what you look like? amen to this lady

  4. In my experience, the running community tends to be more accepting and open than most other communities, but there are always a select few that can ruin that reputation. I think it is important that runners voice their displeasure to those select few and make them understand that anybody who propels their body with their own legs is a runner. There is no other standard.

  5. I really totally and truly agree with you and it is just cruel, and unfair, to point at people and say that they aren’t something just because of their clothes, how they look, that is ridiculous! As long as you are getting up and moving that’s all that matters. I would always feel nervous going to the gym because my outfits don’t really match, I don’t have workout shoes, etc. I say as long as you get out and are moving that’s the best, there’s enough judgement out there to deal with from the media that we have to go through on a daily basis.

  6. Well said! (and my mind is wandering to those who also hold that opinion in many churches, sadly) I almost see a challenge here for the rest of us to be extra encouraging in ALL situations 🙂

  7. Very well stated. Certainly people are entitled to their opinions, but what a shame that they put all that negativity out there in the world. Exercising isn’t about what you’re wearing or how fast you’re moving – it’s about doing something good for yourself. I hope that anyone who was deterred by those negative posts stumbles onto yours or something else that will inspire them to be good to their bodies.

  8. This just makes me sad. It’s bullying, plain and simple.

    I am a runner not because of how fast I run.
    I am a runner not because of how far I run.
    I am a runner not because of how many medals I’ve received.
    I am a runner not because of what I wear on my feet.
    I am a runner because I run. Period.

  9. I just started running, and I had no idea there was such snobbery out there! I have quite a slow pace, and I do not have fancy outfits, but I’m happy doing it, so isn’t that all that matters?

  10. That’s horrible! I used to be a runner but for the last year I’ve been focusing most on strength training.. I’ve been wanting to get back in cardiovascular shape and it took me 16 minutes to finish a mile! Ha! So I am definitely one of “those runners”. But you know what… we are lapping everyone on the couch. I think everyone who even just goes on walks for exercise is an athlete! Good for us for doing something for our health!!

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