It’s Global Introverts Day — Let the parties begin!
I didn’t realize it until seeing an item in the NY Times this morning while eating my bowl of cold cereal that today, June 7, is Global Running Day. I’m embarrassed to admit that it snuck up on me again this year, and I completely forgot to send out my Global Running Day cards, hang Running-themed decorations around the house, or order a somber and sympathetic Global Running Day floral arrangement for my long-suffering spouse.
After breakfast, I opened my email to find more alerts, including a helpful email from Runner’s World/Active.com with advice on how to celebrate. I couldn’t decide whether to embrace the spirit of the day, with an open heart and generosity for all (“…Share your passion for the sport and inspire others to get moving!”) or retreat into my cramped, cranky, curmudgeonly cynicism to make mean-spirited fun of the whole concept.
Let’s just say, the jury’s still out.
But honestly, it’s no one’s problem but my own that I find it hard to warm up to the idea of a global day of celebration for an activity that I pursue more or less every day, and more or less in solitude. Not all runners are introverts, and not all introverts like to run, so there’s absolutely no reason for those of us who are running introverts to keep the rest of you from throwing running-centric parties to your heart’s desire.
Still, I had to repress a shudder at the thought of seeking out crowds and public places for today’s run, rather than sneaking off to some lonely trail for an hour of solitary effort. I couldn’t help but recall (fondly) yesterday’s afternoon run in the rain, plodding up and down the mostly desolate service roads of Prospect Hill Park on the outskirts of Waltham. It was cold, wet, and lonely — it was also a very satisfying 45 minutes, and the absence of party hats did not detract from the experience.
It’s funny: I have no problems with races, meets, practices, group runs, and other collective running endeavors. But maybe that’s because those are part of longer narratives, in which there is a theme of daily training that builds to a public expression of self-transformation. The idea of a single day to celebrate running isn’t objectionable; it just seems kind of odd for it to exist outside that narrative. It’s like having a Global Day for eating healthy foods, or – I don’t know — speaking French.
But fine. Whatever. I’ll take the pledge to run today. I’ll list my reason for running to celebrate the fact that I’m still alive, and still able to lose myself in physical activity for an hour a day. I’ll have a kind and encouraging word for anyone who is thinking of running today. I’ll add my name to the list and join the parade.
But tomorrow morning, as street sweepers clean up the confetti, I’ll be sneaking out before breakfast for a quiet few miles — alone with my misanthropic thoughts and perfectly happy.