This post was originally going to be entitled “Monica is the Worst.” Fortunately for her, that title is no longer valid because she is no longer actually the worst and has been replaced.
It all started with Monica coming up with a terrible idea. Now, it wasn’t necessarily a terrible idea for everybody, but it was most definitely a terrible idea for me. If you remember, every Sunday morning, NDRC has a 7.4 km run and last week I happened to participate for the first time in a long while, just getting into it. Then Monica goes and suggests we do something different: a changing lead-type run! Going back through the team Whatsapp records, I noticed that it was actually Monica and Danny together that came up with the scheme of having two lines of people, with the people at the back sprinting to the front while the rest jog (tightly!) and so on. To most people, this might not seem like a terrible idea and might be a welcome change from routine. Seb, however, summed it up quite accurately: “The middle 1/3 of the team will have a great time, the fastest 1/3 won’t get much of a workout and the bottom 1/3 won’t be able to keep up.” And you know what? That’s pretty much what happened. The middle 1/3 of the team had a pretty decent time, while the fastest 1/3 of the team whined and were jerks about it, and the bottom 1/3 of the team were very sad.
One of the reasons I was really not looking forward to this run was I was very worried about people going too fast. Being the slowest person on the team, I think I had ample cause to be worried about not being able to or barely being able to keep up. It would be both an embarrassing experience and a distressing period of suffering.
To be VERY honest, the whole experience was actually better than I had expected. That is only because I was expecting the very worst. I was expecting everybody to be terrible whereas in reality only a few people were terrible. What makes people terrible? WHEN THEY ACT LIKE JERKS.
There are many ways one can be a jerk. One way is to push the pace. Slow people like me can’t keep up! I admit that pushing the pace is an easy thing to do and is not necessarily done on purpose. In fact, it is most likely an unconscious effect, as after sprinting, it can be difficult to find the proper jogging pace again when you lead. I can therefore forgive pushing the pace (when done accidentally). It happened occasionally, though less frequently than I had originally expected. Yay team!
Following up with pushing the pace, one of the most common breaches in etiquette is not keeping tight. Keeping tight in this context refers to staying close together while jogging, and not spreading out super far so that the people behind you have to sprint even further to catch up. Not conforming to this practice often also results in pushing the pace (slow people like me can’t keep up!). There were quite a few people guilty of this offense, namely Danny, Black Mark (not racist, I swear, and I’m fairly sure he’s not offended by the nickname meant to differentiate him from White Mark, whom I’m also fairly sure is not offended), Ben, and André. That’s in order of increasing guilt, mind you. Danny and Mark, being the pair right in front of me, would sprint far ahead of the rest of the group leaving a huge space between us. I will say for them, however, that after a while, they improved, and while they still would sprint far ahead, they would quickly decelerate and wait for the group to catch up). Ben and André, on the other hand, took quite a while before they learned how to be team players. I understand that it takes some time to accelerate and decelerate, but it was a little ridiculous how far ahead they’d go. At one point I got fed up and yelled at them. Eventually they settled on slowing down at the back of the group when it was their turn to get some distance there in order to have more sprinting distance while not going too far ahead.
The absolute worst way one can be a jerk? Talk about how slow everybody’s going and how much faster you usually run. I’m not going to name the particular person that did this, but Seb aptly told them “no-one cares” and shut them up. Thank you, Seb. At least I wasn’t the only one whose nerves were being wracked.
In a side story, there were two casualties at yesterday’s run: Chris and Caren. Chris strained a hamstring and Caren, in the last throes of being sick, became nauseated and almost threw up. Both had to pull out of the run early to recover (Chris is still hobbling around and limping to get to places).
In summary, was the run better than I had expected? Yes. Would I want to do it again? No. Would I rather do the long distance run on my own? Yes. Do I have a choice? Nope. Are there better ways to do it? I think next time it would be nice to separate the fast runners and the slow runners so people can be in a group more appropriate to their ability and everybody gets a good workout. Gavin will do what he wants, though, so not like I have a say in the matter.
In another side story, Pearl ate part of Ben’s breakfast steak. Good on Pearl! I hope she eats all his steak, always. He deserves it.
In yet another side story, I’d like to end on a more positive note and have an athlete highlight: Derrick! Derrick was on call (he’s a doctor) and thus wasn’t able to be at the run, being busy saving lives and all. Honestly, if I were in that position, I’d say “good riddance” and not do it at all (don’t tell Gavin). Derrick, on the other hand, went to do the run on his own in the afternoon after he got off work. How admirable! I very much appreciate the dedication on this team and it’s one of the things I love about NDRC and find most inspiring.
P.S. This post is less angry than it would have been had I written it yesterday. I’ve calmed down too much.