In Pursuit of Transformative Mediocrity

“Tell me about your trail running,” I said.

“I’m not really running, man,” he answered, sheepishly, disappointed I’d even asked. “I’m sorta run-shuffling. It’s nothing to write home about.”

First of all, what is any of us doing if not run-shuffling? Who among us is setting an FKT or pioneering some crazy new route? I write all the time about my unexceptional exploits. Am I not worthy, and nobody told me? Please. Keep it to yourself.

YouTube will ruin us all unless we can avert our envious gazes.

Who are these people, the genetically talented, those privileged with time and resources, the geographically blessed, the inexplicably sponsored, the narcissistically performative, Type A1, A2 and all the others who win things? They are at once inspiration and discouragement, role models and bullies.

Frankly, I’m tired of exceptional people.

Show me the middle-aged, the bad-backed, the ones with the gimpy ankles. Show me the elderly who are still doing it, in whatever time, at whatever distance, in whatever way they can.

Let’s put it this way, Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times, and gained not one iota of a clue how life works. Winning, achieving, getting attention, these things are not necessarily compatible with “doing the work” of making yourself a better human, or more importantly, showing me how.