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.

The Rage revisits the Penguin - April 2002

Subject: A Headline We Would Love To See: Penguin Seeks the Truth? Date: 26 May 00

At 10Ktruth, we emphasize running hills as the foundation of improving running perfomance. So I read with great interest John "The Penguin" Bingham's article in Runner's World called "Buzzard Bait Hill." I thought it would make for a great "before" story of a jogger who got serious about becoming a runner. But, I knew is was not to be, as soon as he signed off with his trademark "waddle on, friends."

Now don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for someone who got off the couch like he has done and is totally happy with running in his own comfort zone. I would just like to see the 'ol penguin just seek some Truth, that's all. The ending that I would love to see is to have him launch into a tirade at the end of his struggle up that hill at the finish, just barely in front of the course sweeper. I would love to see him tear his t-shirt off at the finish (the one that says "I'm slow. I know. Get over it") wad it up and spike it into the ground and scream something like "I'm slow. I know. I WILL GET OVER IT" and proceed to run down the hill and run it again.

When I read articles like this, I think there is an assumption that seeking inner peace, taking in nature, or dealing with the reality of who you are means doing it at a pedestrian pace. I think a good angle that Bingham could pursue for his readers would be a year long series of his own personal effort to improve his speed and the discoveries he learns about himself along the way. I bet that he could get some real Truth down the hall in Ed Eyestone's office or, maybe give Owen Andersen a call (who used to write "The Fast Lane" column for RW) and ask him to be his personal coach. He could describe to his readers what it's like to run six 800's or a dozen 400's and, yes, weekly trips up Buzzard Bait Hill a whole new perspective. I think that would be an inspiration to his readers to really discover that they're not only O.K. afterall, but they can run faster, too. And I'll bet he would cover that two miles up that hill a lot faster than 37:40. Waddle on, uh, And that's The Truth, my friends. - Rage

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