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When it is Good
There is a funny tradition in running. It is that when you run a race you can wear your medal all day long, no matter what you do. Go to lunch? Wear it. Go to the gas station? Wear it. Whatever you do, it’s cool. We also think it’s sometimes cool to bring your medal to show others, perhaps to work or school the next week, or maybe to a gathering of friends who you think might like to see it. Yes, it’s a form of boasting and us runners are ok with that. We like telling the world what we have done. Partly it’s for the ego strokes and partly it’s because we want to encourage others. When we have end of the season parties runners will often wear whatever medals they have won during that time period to show others. We will tell people how we did, good or bad. Often the ‘bad’ races make for much more interesting stories. Sometimes there is a ‘humble brag’ moment. That’s where you tell how bad you did, but oh, by the way, you had a personal record in spite of that. All of it is fun, supportive and communal. We all get it.
When it is Bad
What we don’t do is wear our medals every single day. We don’t tell people we ran this or that race again and again and again. We don’t try to one up each other by interrupting a story to tell that we went faster than they did or farther. We don’t demean or diminish other’s success no matter if is greater than or less than our own. We don’t try to make ourselves look better than we are. We don’t ignore others when they tell their stories of success. We know that we are all rooting for each other.
When it is Ugly
It is not often this happens but when it does, it is ugly. That is when a runner is so insecure that they lie about their accomplishments. Worse yet, when they cheat to achieve them. That is why there is nothing worse in the running community than when someone takes a shortcut in a race to appear to have a better time. That level of dishonesty and deception shows a deep level of insecurity and immorality. That person has been poisoned with the delusion that appearing to be something makes it so. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is it makes you farther from being what you want to appear to be. It is ugly, it is hurtful and it is counter-productive to the progress of anyone who indulges in it.
More and Less
The same is true in any field. In politics, academia, business, creativity, etc. The more you obsessively boast of your success, the less success you will actually have.
Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quote by Sir Arthur Helps, 1813-1875, English Writer – Interesting read about his life in this and other articles.