Charlie's Blog: An Unpopular Opinion About Running


An Unpopular Opinion About Running

My doctor told me that running could add years to my life. I think he was right. I feel ten years older already.

Recently, someone posted a provocative piece on the Unpopular Opinion reddit board. It was definitely unpopular as 1000+ people responded mostly in the negative to the post. I quote it entirely below because reddit moderators are notorious for deleting these posts.

If you enjoy running you must secretly hate yourself or some part of your life.

Running is one of the most miserable experiences on this planet. I literally just walk instead to stay healthy and I can promise you I’m enjoying my day more than you. I also get to enjoy nature more.

If you’re an athlete that makes money or gifted genetically then sure I understand that, but for the everyday person if are choosing to go on a run your life must suck in some way. Just walk and stop hating yourself.

Edit: I’ve absolutely loved reading all the cope in this thread. I’m 6’0 and weigh 190. I do plenty of other activities to stay in shape. But there are psychos out there that really choose to spend their time outside running. You hate yourself if that’s how you choose to spend your time.

Some people really missed the point and tried to focus on the fit aspect when in reality running is just boring and a miserable experience, and quite frankly a waste of time.

To the people that did notice and talk about that, I see you.

What can I say? I am in agreement with the original poster. I think running is a miserable way to get in shape, and you will enjoy walking more. Running only has one advantage over walking. You will lose weight faster and get fit faster with running. That's it. And that only applies if you don't get injured or quit.

Do runners hate themselves? I can't answer that. I understand why people would draw that conclusion because there is a masochistic streak in running especially when you hear about the injuries and sufferings of Navy SEAL turned ultrarunner David Goggins. That man is clearly dealing with issues from his past life. On a recent Joe Rogan podcast, Goggins admitted that he had run his knee to pieces requiring surgery that still leaves him running in pain. But this man is not the typical runner. Nevertheless, running for even the average person is painful and miserable. The mythical "runner's high" is not worth the price of admission. Personally, I don't think it exists.

The real story here isn't what the original poster wrote but the response it got. He touched a nerve which means he got something right. Why else would people go so nuts telling him that he is wrong? Plus, this was not some sort of running forum. It was the unpopular opinion board. Yet, it was like stepping into a fire ant nest.

I think this response comes from a pathology in our culture today that insists that gain must come from pain. To say otherwise is some sort of heresy. And that is the secret of walking. You can exercise, get fit, and enjoy it. I find that very appealing. Just know that if you walk and enjoy it, some people are going to hate you for this.