My father used to lecture all of us kids on the use of the word “never.” If I had a dollar for every time he cautioned, “Never say never!” I would be a very wealthy person at this point and I would also have to issue many apologies — one for every time I doubted my father’s wisdom.
But this time, I mean it when I say you’ll never see me competing, no matter how much friends beg, plead, threaten and offer bribes to retract my words.
Since I have perfectly logical reasons for feeling this way, I’ll list them all here so you know I mean business when I say I won’t ever take part in a running event!
I won’t ever take part in a running event because…
Doing so would kill my clothing budget.
I have a reputation to uphold: whether I go to work, a party or a family affair, I like to look current, trendy and fashionable, which translates as: my clothes cost more than they would if I shopped at Souk’s Flea and Easy on Jiak Kim Street! I know what you’re thinking: I’m a snob.
You’ll get no disagreement from me. Putting on shorts and a t-shirt simply conflicts with my sense of style and I doubt I’d make it more than a few steps from the start line wearing the platform heels that fill my shoe wardrobe.
I hate to lose.
Even as a kid, I cried more than my schoolmates when somebody else took a prize. When I was very little, I even tried to steal trophies from winners to my mum’s chagrin. Of course, I’ve grown up a lot since then. If I had remained that petulant, I wouldn’t be able to count on having so many great friends — many of whom have been nagging at me to run for a terribly long time.
I’m sorry. I just don’t want to embarrass myself by having a meltdown at a finish line when everyone else has already gone home. I can’t promise I won’t steal the winner’s medal at the finish line, either.
It kills me to get my hair messed up and my makeup ruined.
Call me shallow (and you probably have at least once since you started reading this), but I’m insecure enough to think that I look cuter when I’m all put together and looking fine. What if some hunky dude happens to see me without my makeup and I miss and opportunity to hook up with the man of my dreams?
Just the thought of that image sends chills down my spine, so don’t register me for a marathon ever, thank you very much. Note to my boyfriend: I’m just kidding about this one!
I’ll have to change my diet and I’ve worked too hard to get my girlish figure into perfect shape to risk that.
I’ve heard that runners are required to follow stringent diets — even consume more calories! – to prepare for running events and frankly, I’ve looked at lists of acceptable pre-race and post-race foods and menus and I’m not having any part of that!
Don’t get me started on how easy it is for me to blow up like a Hello Kitty parade balloon if I am to consume all of the water I would have to drink to stay hydrated.
I can’t spare the time to train or compete!
I have things to do, places to go and people to see. If I miss a single episode of “Kalyanam” I couldn’t carry on a decent conversation with people I hang out with, because to do so, I must know every smoldering detail of the affair between Ajali and Arjun or I won’t sleep at night either.
If I don’t sleep, I can’t function and if this impacts my work, I’m pretty sure my boss will fire me and you know what that means: the dreaded job search and all that goes with it. You wouldn’t want to see me lose my job just because I agreed to run, right?
My boyfriend wants me to be available whenever he calls.
It’s been like this since we started seeing each other and he even complains to my mum if I make plans that don’t include him (side note: he doesn’t see why people like to run either).
My dad admonishes me if I ignore my boyfriend, because he worries that I’m never going to get married and move away from home. When my parents want to prove their point, they say that no guy wants a woman with athletic legs, and since I’m sure they like my boyfriend more than me, I don’t want to take any chances.
I’ve already got so many friends, I could use a second smartphone to get all of them on my speed dial system.
And what would my friends say if I suddenly have less time to see them because I’ve made new friends at the track, gym or running events with social activities attached?
They might get so mad, they call me disloyal and spread lots of untrue gossip about me on social media. So far, I haven’t been the subject of trash talk, but if I decide to take part in running events, it’s only a matter of time before my reputation is toast. Just the thought of this brings tears to my eyes.
I can’t bear to torture myself.
I can’t come up with a single logical reason to torture myself by pushing, sweating, straining and risking injury – reason enough to avoid marathons, ultras and even fun runs because I could bump into other people and wind up in hospital.
And this type of torture costs money. I would have to spend hard-earned cash on clothing, gear, equipment and entry fees which means I would wind up in my parent’s extra bedroom even longer if my boyfriend doesn’t come up with a ring. I know they love me, but I can tell they want me to get married and move out, reason enough to make sure I never, ever take part in running events. Ever.
What’s the best, most creative excuse you’ve ever gotten from someone you tried to convince to join you at running events?
Jennifer Leow hates to join any mass participation running event but that does not mean she hates running. She still hopes one day someone can finally convince her to join her first event.
The article is contributed by members of the community. All stories are based on real life personal experiences or actual events encountered by the authors and related parties. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
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