I don't mind people who love what they do and talk about it all the time. I don't mind people who brag about all the awesome things they do. But I do have an issue with people who criticize their peers or others who do the same things to a lesser ability as if they are a failure because they aren't capable of performing up to the same degree of someone else.
I was at a race yesterday. It was a lot of fun. I had a trail run half marathon PR of 3:38:36. I was pretty happy about that. Especially considering the half marathon trail race I did the weekend before took me an hour longer than it's taken me the past two times I ran that race due to weather (4:40:11). Those conditions were pretty bad, but the conditions for this race were really good. Nice weather, a trail that wasn't covered in mud, a nice river crossing. It was a good run.
Unfortunately, my good run was ruined by one man. The better part of me had the nerve to not have me go up to him and say, "Excuse me, sir, do you know how much of an asshole you sound like right now?"
The guy was a crossfitter. How do I know? Because he was talking crossfit. I know a lot of really nice people who do crossfit. This guy, however, was a tool. In a discussion with another guy about crossfit, the other man admitted to doing crossfit stuff at home to which he replied, "Well, it only counts if you're doing it in a box." (A box is what crossfitters refer to what you or I would call a gym. By all means, never call a crossfitters box a gym.)
As if this wasn't a snotty enough comment to make to his crossfit peers, he then began to criticize the runners of the half marathon. There was still one more person on the course, a gal from Savannah, who was not used to running our hills. She was doing good considering her circumstances and having no idea what to expect on the course. Well, Mr. Something-To-Say-About-Everything starts to talk to the people around him, "Are you kidding me? There's still someone out on the course? That's ridiculous. Can you imagine running a 4 hour half marathon? That's like walking the whole time. Why bother even doing it?"
Really? Really? I mean, here I'm sitting there having finished some 22 minutes shy of a 4 hour mark and this guy is talking about how horrible people who are slower are?
OK, so granted, we don't all do crossfit and run a lot and we're not all built like this guy, but who is he to talk bad about other people. He didn't know the girl behind me wasn't used to running hills. He doesn't know I have flat feet and asthma, or that I spent around 30 minutes between both stops talking to the boy scout troop leaders every time I passed their aid station. He doesn't know that maybe other runners are coming back from an injury, or just having a bad day, or are just slow and out for fun. I wasn't out there to do some crazy fast race. I'm just doing this to train to go at a 16 minute mile pace, which I did.
But really, back to the point here. Why do some people feel like they can talk bad about other people who are doing the same things they do, just not as good. That's not to say that the slower runner isn't putting in any less effort. And honestly, it's not his complaint to make. If the people putting on the race wanted to avoid having situations like this, they can put a time limit on a race. But yeah, this guy killed me yesterday. I have never wanted to give a stranger a piece of my mind, but, I was too happy with my PR to care. Instead, I decided to take my time and go talk to "Savannah" when she finished to hear her race story and share a Coke before going home.
So, "Savannah", if you're out there in the world, I just want to let you know that you don't suck for finishing a few minutes after 4 hours because you didn't have a proper environment (hills) to train in. I'm sure you're a great runner and the fact you were even out there and finished instead of dropping out over the first loop makes you awesome. I hope you're not feeling too sore today. Your friend in running, "Columbus"