If you do call yourself a runner, can you handle the truth?




From the Rage Archives

Truth is found through devotion,
and intensity is the only true measure of devotion.

Subject: Truth Intervention
Date: 16 Apr 00 18:44:50 PDT

I have a friend we'll call him "Coop" to keep his real identity confidential. Coop was a runner who was hooked on the junk mile method to running. All the danger signs were there and he was just too deep into his method to understand what was happening to him. It was almost too late before Manciata and the Rage found him.

Nearly fully assimilated into the collective of his Catholic, guilt-ridden upbringing, he would get up early on Sunday mornings for a 16 mile exorcism. Manciata and I made our move while he was handing out motivational refrigerator magnets at a local 10k (shaved head, the whole nine yards) laced with Jeff Galloway long run propaganda.

We put a gunny sack over his head and tossed him into the back of the Dodge. We drove around for a while with CCR's Born in the Bayou at maximum volume. Finally, we stopped, got him out, and did not remove the hood until he could reasonably hold key while screaming "my papa said son don't let the man getcha and do what he done to me." Then we pulled off the hood. We were at the base of Kong (Buck Mountain, a few miles northeast of Coburg, Oregon), which is 2,000 vertical feet of some serious up. He ran it in 43 flat.

He came back a second time a few weeks later. He ran it in about 40 or so. A couple of months and several sessions later, he was determined to break 40. As we cruised through Coburg in the Dakota, all of a sudden it was as if he started doing the Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk thing...his forehead started bulging and his body started to inflate and his chest jumped out of his shredded singlet as he called his number: 38 minutes. I made a mental note and did not tell Manciata.

He was a new person...like Babe Ruth, pointing to the right center bleachers. An attitude was forming. He looked at me and I could see it in his eyes. They were saying "...I am taking no prisoners, this trip,baby..." When he reached the top on his fifth trip up Kong, he couldn't talk and his legs wobbled as he tried to steady himself. There was a string of viscous matter attached to his left nostril and left ear. He simply thrust out his watch and Manciata and I read the time: 38:03. Not bad. We then admonished him for stopping 30 feet from the blacktop, which is the "official" finish area. The intervention was complete.

(For the latest on the continued recovery of Coop from his addiction
to the junk mile method, see Result).

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