Friday, October 10, 2008

Running – the great equalizer

There’s something I’ve really noticed since I’ve moved to BsAs. There’s a lot of classism here.

Coming from Austin, Texas, where just about everyone is friendly, and it’s a common occurrence to see Michael Dell, Lance Armstrong, or Matthew McConaughey running on Townlake trail with the rest of us, I find this classism particularly annoying.

People here will ask lots and lots of questions to try to get to know what class you are in: What neighborhood do you live in? What do you do for a living? Where are you planning on going for vacation?

It is often done in a rapid-fire manner, before they even ask your name. Not everyone does it, but it’s definitely common. Anyway, there are lots of other things that people do, but I won’t go into them.

What I really want to say is that one of the reasons that I have always loved running is that I think, more than any other sport, it is a great equalizer of some of the discrimination that goes along with classism. Really, all you need are a pair of running shoes, something to run in, and a place to run and you can excel in the sport. Once you have that – you can be just like the rest of us.

I’ve always noticed something in any running group or running race that I have been in. You can’t tell as much who has money and who doesn’t. What I think is most important is that I think fewer people actually care. There is something about getting together as a group, running together (at times suffering together), sweating together, etc that makes people put their guard down, whether their guard is their money or their beauty or the fact that they received their degree from So-and-so prestigious university.

And I have to say, I like that.

I hope to see you out on the trail.

Te mando besos,
Jennifer

2 comments:

TresM said...

Jen,

I love your observations. I believe that what you describe is something that is very prevalent in certain parts of Latin America . . . certainly sounds familiar to what one might experience in parts of Mexico City. . . but, you know, as someone from Texas, it sounds exactly like a night out in Dallas (and why I don't enjoy spending too much time there!)

I can't wait until I can step away from my profession and lace up the running shoes, show up to run with my group in the evenings or early mornings on the weekends and cease to try to be anything other than myself . . . make myself suffer and sweat. Being around many others who are happy to observe others meeting goals or experiencing improvement (and supporting those having trouble). Running has really helped heighten my appreciation for the simple, for the uncomplicated.

It seems that (for many) if a person does not fit certain societal definitions, then they are mundane and unworthy of anyone's time. I really feel sorry for those people because they often miss some of the most wonderful things in life by adhering to those views!

Enjoying your blog! Looking forward to more! Sigue escribiendo!

bongpagong said...

So true .