January 7, 2015
This came across my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was interesting to think about, and the reaction comments were even more interesting!
The text reads:
Take the “blue” pill and you will able to run injury free with your current abilities for the rest of your life
Take the “red” pill and take 1.5 hours off your fastest marathon time, with an additional 5 mins each year afterwards, but you will stop running completely in 6 years.
For those if you that don’t recognize it, the Red Pill/Blue Pill choice is a reference to the movie The Matrix.
I felt like most runners are obsessed with running faster and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. And know so many people that have given up running. And, it seemed the typical “instant gratification” that seems to pervade current North American culture would inspire everyone to want to take the red pill.
Reading the comments of this post, I was pleasantly surprised that most would chose the blue pill! That restored a bit of my faith in the running community.
I like running, and I plan to run for the rest of my life. At my current pace, I’ll qualify for Boston in my 60’s, and I’m okay with that! Running injury-free would be a blessing! But, running injury-free has more to do with running smart.
So, in a sense, many runners make this choice consciously or unconsciously. If you push really hard for speed and improvement, and take a “red pill” path, you may achieve all of this without magic. But, it makes sense that such runner’s will burn out and give up running eventually.
If you chose to run conservatively, for fun and joy, and simply run “smart” you naturally take the “blue pill” route, and may coincidentally run relatively injury-free.
Would you pick the Blue Pill or Red Pill? Why?