The Person I Try Not to Be
I was standing in the cafeteria at work yesterday getting my lunch ready, when I overheard a conversation (ok fine, I was eavesdropping) about running/biking the Lake Front Trail. Obviously, I had to listen to that. It was innocent enough: the man had previously been a long distance runner and had transferred to long distance cycling (he had done 70 or 95 miles Sunday), and the woman was a longish distance biker (I say biker over cyclist as it was more of a pleasure pursuit for her, not to belittle her effort). He ended up asking what type of bike she had, and she said, “Oh, it’s a hybrid.” I missed his response, but the conversation segued to a discussion about speed and such, and she said that she was thinking about getting a different bike. Next thing I knew, he was tell her that it was a “sickness” and that before she knew it, she would be spending a ton of money on it and that she would have to in order to get faster or to take it more seriously. She didn’t think she would need to spend that much more, and he disagreed. And kept disagreeing. And kept telling her that it was a sickness. And kept. on.
Ok. So here is my point. Regardless of whether or not he is right or she is right, people need to respect each other’s right to party to spend as much on their sport (time, effort, money, calories) as they see fit. It truly irks me when people try to force their religion on others. Regardless of what that religion may be (and yes, for some, fitness is their religion. Crossfit is their religion. Running/marathoning etc is their religion). And they try to force their way of thinking on others–evangelism is still evangelism, even if it focuses on a slightly different subject.
I have the same approach to my opinions on fitness and health as I do on matters of religion: often times, you have to agree to disagree. And no one has any right to force you to change your mind. It is your body, your life. Do you.
There are certain situations where I come off very strong, very assertive–these are generally in situations where I am protecting someone else. Let’s face it (and I do on a regular basis): I am a know-it-all, I like to be right, and I like to answer questions correctly. But if someone has a differing opinion, I am now mature enough to want to hear it–I want to learn why/how they feel that way (well, I’m not perfect, haha. Let’s say for the most part I do!). But one aspect of my personality that I am proud of is that I am not a one to force my beliefs on someone else when it is simply a matter of opinion. You know me–I’m all about the gray area, but I’m also not into extremes.
Will I suggest that all runner who are intending to run further than 3 miles on a regular basis get fitted? Yes. Do I believe in cross training? Yes. Do I think that yoga has significantly impacted my training? Yes. Do I think that running streaks can be more detrimental than helpful? Yes. But I respect the effort of the running streak. I respect people who are committed to keeping a streak alive, but also are not out of their mind about it.
How would I have liked to have seen the man respond? To say something along the lines of, “Well, I got bitten by the bug, as it were, so I invested a bit more in my bike. But you know what, you can get great used bikes these days. Just be sure to get it tuned up and re-fitted for you! That will make a huge difference in your making progress with your riding.” Not: You are going to get the sickness and then you are going to have to spend $$$$$ and you need to get fast.
I like to tell others about what exercise and fitness have given me, because I am thankful for what I have gained. But I do so when asked. If you want my opinion, I will give it. In short, I never want to be a pusher. I will advocate, but I don’t want to lobby. Because after a while, that shouting just falls on deaf ears. Like the people shouting in the streets day in and out as crowds rush by.
So maybe I just have the most annoying cold of all time? Rather than the flu? Great, another chronic illness (lol).
Do you think that sometimes you just have to let people be “wrong,” from your perspective? Kind of like saying, “yes, dear” as you roll your eyes?
What do you think of evangelism (of any kind?)? Is this simply freedom of opinion, or too much of it?
Are you ever guilty of trying too pushy?