Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why Another Fn Runner?

Q: Why the implied expletive? Why


For instance, there's the fact that I wouldn't blame anyone for rolling their eyes at the thought of another running blog on the internet. Because, really, what am I going to write about running that one of the other millions of running blogs hasn't already covered? So, the redundancy of the running blog concept plays into the site name.

But, there's a back story, too:

I was contemplating a name for this site one day while running along the Sycamore Trail. It was a sunny day. And, there were lots of people making use of the park.

I spotted another runner a few meters ahead of me and slowed my pace, because I didn't want to have to play leap frog with him. So, the gap between us grew. And, at some point, I heard a shout from a woman ahead proclaiming "runner!" to someone else. It was clear from the volume of her voice that she was alerting her fellow hikers that the runner ahead of me would be passing them.

When I arrived at this pack of hikers and needed to pass, the same woman shouted the alarm to the five-or-so hikers in line ahead of her.

But, this time, the tone in her voice was a little different. I detected a hint of annoyance. She wasn't just saying, "let the nice runner pass." She wanted to say, "another runner wants to get by us!" And, she would have meant it with disdain.

Yeah, I knew what she really wanted to say. She wanted to curse the runner, that effin' runner. She wouldn't mind watching him trip over a root as he ran by. That runner. Another effin' runner ruining the flow of her hike through Umstead.

Oh, I knew how she felt about runners. Oh yes. She was one of those people, the ones who think of runners as snooty little show offs.

According to her, runners get in the way when you want to make a right turn at the intersection.

Runners surprise you during walks in the neighborhood as they pass by, all smiling and breathlessly saying, "Good morning!"

Runners force you to be considerate with regard to the aggressive terrier you're unable to restrain for more than 10 seconds, because the animal never learned that it's not okay to bark at every living thing within a 30-foot radius.

The mere sight of a runner, to her, was a rude reminder that she should be getting outside and exercising more.

Yeah, I recognized the type. My insecurities wouldn't let me ignore what that hiker might have meant when she said "runner" in that tone.

I almost hated myself after thinking about the encounter long enough. What if I really was a nuisance to the majority of the public? What if I was being rude when I wanted to pass other people on the trail? What if runners really were a blight on society?

Fortunately, my tried and true weapon against self loathing was readily available: verbal irony. So, as quickly as those negative thoughts entered my head, I immediately found humor in them. And, was born.

It seemed like a good name at the time.


  1. Great post, Ash! I've often wondered why you named your blog that way. Oh, and I also agree - the sword of irony is *very* sharp. Careful with that thing! ;-)

  2. Nice insight into the origins of your blog. I always assumed based on your tag line, but the hiker story is great and rings so true for me.



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