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I must be mad

The other day I got copied in on a tweet which included a link to an article - this article in fact - which, though absolutely positive in its content (it's about an 80+ year-old striving to break his age group records and, would you believe it, succeeding) includes that tired old mantra that running 'takes people who are a little bit crazy'.

As Peter Griffin famously said in Season 4, Episode 28 - 'That really grinds my gears, Tom'. 

When exactly was it that undertaking any sort of exercise became 'crazy?'  Something our ancestors depended upon for their very survival and undertook no doubt without a second thought has now become a sign of mental defect. 

And it seems it's almost exclusive to this self-improving habit.  Can you imagine anyone saying 'I'm going to start learning French - I must be mad'? Or maybe 'I'm going to do some travelling - see a bit of the world. I must be mental'. Or perhaps 'I'm going to help out at the homeless shelter, put a bit back and give a boost to those less privileged than myself. I must be off my bloody tits'?

No, it's just exercise isn't it?  And the thing is we ourselves allow it to be perpetuated because if I had a quid for every time I've heard a new starter questioning their own sanity when aiming for a 5k - a distance we had to travel on foot to reach junior school aged 7 (and the price of bread then.. ) I'd have enough to fill a bathtub and buy a new bathtub to replace the one now rendered unusable by the hundredweight of coinage.

So let's do our bit to break this nonsense. Next time you hear yourself about to announce that you have completely misplaced your marbles, catch yourself on.  This is life enhancing and life affirming - even life extending - and there are few things as liberating and exhilarating as travelling across the land under your own power, everything you need on your back.  You would have to be mad not to do it.

Anyway, as you've been good and stuck with this, here's your reward.  A Fisher Price toy record player playing 'Stairway'.  No need to thank me.

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