Sunday, June 23, 2013

After Midnight


You'll probably be calling me a hypocrite by the time you're finished reading this, but the best part is that I don't care at all.

For full effect, download "I Love It" by Icona Pop and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. 

Due to the fact that it's Sunday, you may be looking for some positive/spiritually uplifting/tear-inducing post about the meaning of life and the invaluable lessons I’ve learned over the past week.  But this isn't one of those posts. This is one where I want you to imagine a slow-motion Lebron James hovering toward a basket, followed by a time-lapse scene of a broken street in Akron, Ohio, then followed by a sharp cut to black with a Nike swoosh giving you the motivation to go out and do something great in your life.

This is a post where the grumpy bear inside me slaps your ego upside the head.

I haven't seen a car on this street in 20 minutes. But then again, in a town full of Metamucil junkies who curse me out using only their gums, who says there is supposed to be any type of conscious activity when it's quarter to one in the morning?  At the same time, I don't care that I'm the only one awake enough to lace up a pair of New Balance runners. I don't care that in a normal world I should have dozed off to reruns of “Saturday Night Live” by now. I don't care that there isn’t anyone else out here with me keeping track of my pace every mile. I just flat out don’t care. 

But you?  You care a lot, don’t you?  You care about what people will think when they see that one picture your team posted after finishing the race, with the tagged line at the bottom saying you were there, you were a part of that honorable group of individuals. Or what about the hand-carved, copper-plated finisher’s medal you received with that little spinny thing in the middle that shows both sides of your accomplishment.  You care about people liking the picture you posted of that piece of rock with the caption, “Ragnar” just below it, so when they’re liking and commenting left and right you will think they have a voice in the back of their heads saying, ‘this kid is a badass.’ 

I often wonder what the real motivation is behind you signing up to be in a Spartan Race, or LOTOJA Competition, or any other one of those half-mustered group 5K’s that an obese Oompa Loompa could achieve record times in after having started training just after breakfast got over that morning.  Is it a memory you want to log in your journal later that night so you can brag to your future posterity about the athletic skill you once held?  Is it so you can feel the camaraderie with a bunch of other Associate-Degree seeking nimrods getting shocked in a mudpit by groups of hanging static wires in your faces?  Is it so you can arrogantly place a sticker on the back of your yellow mid-size SUV, so all of the lesser-qualified fairies in Dodge Calibers won’t be upset when you cut them off on the freeway, because after all, they should be amazed and owe you respect for what you accomplished.

And you wonder why the media is predicting narcissism to be a worldwide pandemic?

I come to a stop in the middle of the desert and have an unspoken moment with God that Steven Spielberg couldn’t dramatically recreate on film.  Being out here.  Alone.  After midnight. Moments like these are the real reason I keep lacing up my shoes.  Moments like these put a picture of a beach with some cheesy inspirational quote superimposed over the top of it to shame.  Moments like these are what I would consider my own personal motivation.  And no, I don’t care if you like or comment on this scene of my life on Facebook, because my self-gratification does not revolve around other people’s online pity.  

But that’s me.  My drive is not the same as yours.  And that’s fine, because really we are all wired just a tad bit differently.  My motivation is late-night runs all alone when no one else is watching that will put bags under my eyes and soreness in my joints when I’m collecting my retirement checks.  And yours may be mouse clicks on a picture that will be lost and forgotten in the archived world of Facebook in the years to come.  So what if you're a superficial prick who needs compensation by adding another Ragnar sticker to the back of your X-Terra, at least you’re doing something, right?  Whatever push you need to get off your apple fritter-coated butt and get out there and run, it doesn’t really matter.   

Just Do It.

What do you think?

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