Looking back to when I started running, it seems now that there were more people who understood what I was doing. Going for a run now and then to stay in shape -people can understand that. Having a goal in mind and striving to meet it – a lot of people can relate to that.
Then I ran a marathon and fewer people could understand. Then I ran another and people wondered what was wrong with me. I had already proved something, why do it again? Did I have inner demons I needed to deal with?
Now that I am running ultras, doing lonely trail runs, and training almost year round there is a very small group of people that seem to understand. I used to be one of a few crazies out there that people knew, but now it seems that when they think of crazy runners they point directly at me.
Finding a group with similar interests is vital. I occassionally meet up with a trail running group just to talk running. But just as important, I think the whole online community has been a godsend for the many crazies out there (no matter the form of their crazy). For me, listening to podcasts of other people doing crazy stuff and being able to find online resources is a lifeline. My non-running friends don’t listen very long to my stories, but during runs with runners that’s what you talk about – running.
“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
― Albert Einstein