3/30/07

calling the average joes of the world

So here I am, your average Joe planning, training, but mostly hoping to run a marathon. Then today as I scan through the plethora of news articles that I do, I come across this. Being the technology, internet dependent person that I am, this is hard to say, but for reasons like these…I HATE THE INTERTNET. Even with its boundless answers, glorious humor, and generally limitless entertainment value there is one thing that really frustrates me about the whole “I don’t know, ask Google generation”. Yes if you’re reading this, I’m referring to your generation, it spans a large demographic. The thing that frustrates me is the amazing amount of inadequacy I feel as I research or peruse new things that interests me. Let’s take the obvious example in my case, I want to run a marathon. So what do I do, well I go on the internet and start looking at all things marathon related and one of the first things I would run into is the classic, “How I prepared/ran/trained for my marathon” articles, this is great and mildly inspiring at times even, but try to imagine twenty years ago before the interweb.

If I wanted hear about someone’s marathon experience I would have to ask around. Now I’m fortunate enough to have a friend that has run a marathon but we communicate through the internet so I can even negate that for now (no offense T). So I could ask my local friends who has run a marathon, no one there, people at work, no one there, people I take classes with, nope no one there, people I climb with, again no one. Now I can look at a marathon as this amazing feat, something that no one I know has done, basically a monumental feat. I know it’s been done but no one I know has even tried, wow running a marathon is a big damn deal. Unfortunately these days we just jump on the answer machine and search marathons and find Ethel the 91 year old women that has completed the Ironman with her best friend Teddy, a St. Bernard, tied to her back, all while dragging a palette of rice and flour to raises awareness for starving children in South America. Wow that’s great Ethel, but you sure do make me feel like a steaming pile of shit.

I can associate this feeling with about everything I attempt to do. I want to start a business, so I go online and find Billy the 16 year old orphan who has franchised his lemonade stands into a multimillion dollar, multinational corporation that is using its profits to save the rain forest. I want to play guitar, I go online and read about Brain, who can play Vivaldi with his feet because he has no arms. Oh did I mention he was also saved by Ethel's Starving Children Foundation, deep in a rain forest protected by Billy’s Lemonade Stands, Inc. I know these are extreme cases, great stories, and each should be told, read, and celebrated by the world, but as the average guy, I feel like a loser. If these people with all their hardships and handicaps can excel, then what the hell is my problem. I’m just a regular guy with all my limbs, raising no awareness, with no amazing circumstances at all. I’ll never run in space or create the next Gates Foundation but I would like to feel like completing one thing in my life that is actually an accomplishment, not a pittance compared to Bob on the internet. 

3 comments:

tes said...

oh please, think how easy it would be to run it in space. :)

know what makes me feel like a loser? that mona lisa crap. i can't even make a straight line in ms paint.

Tom said...

I feel your pain man... turns out people are just as passionte about beer as they are about marathon running and small business.

Anonymous said...

I feel ya on this, it seems that when you get something in your head and you feel like it is an awesome feat in the world you are in there is someone or something out there that is not only doing your mission but has changed it so that you could never possibily compete at the same level even though you are running or walking right next to them. What ever happened to just going with the flow???