Monthly Archives: June 2012

Why I Dew What I Do: smart ass answers to life’s ultimate question

I’ve filled out many race registration forms before, but I can’t remember the last time one asked me — So why the hell are you paying us to torture you? Are the everyday toils in life just not awful enough for you?

Okay, so it didn’t ask that word-for-word, but it was pretty close. The Waddell and Reed KC Marathon event registration was pretty standard.

Age: young enough to still get carded
Event: half marathon
T-shirt Size: whatever fits short people

Then it said –

Q: Why are you running the KC Marathon?
A: Because I can

Classic smart ass Jenny answer.  My boyfriend answered in a similar fashion: “Why not?” (Surprised he didn’t put “my girlfriend’s making me.” He affectionately likes to use me as a scapegoat.)

We both wondered if anyone answers that question seriously. I think they are looking for marketing answers that either give them ideas on what makes the race appealing (cool medals, beautiful course), or maybe they want sappy ones that get to the heart of the runner psyche, quotes they can print on promotional posters or in cheesy PR releases.

I’m running because I love to feel the wind in my hair as I fly through the historic streets of Kansas City. To celebrate my freedom as an American. To tread ground and conquer where many before have failed. For that sense of accomplishment when my feet cross the finish line,  and the overwhelming comraderie of my fellow runners as we brazen through my hometown together.

Not much of one for overwraught, flowery answers (ironic for an English major, I know), I came up with some other answers to the question.

  1. When others ask “why?’, I boldly say, “why not?”
  2. Masochism is a hobby of mine
  3. Wait…this isn’t the Warrior Dash?
  4. So I can consume an entire Chipotle burrito the night before and not feel guilty about a single calorie
  5. My self-esteem is directly proportional to how many t-shirts and feel-good finisher medals I’ve earned
  6. I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!
  7. Mmm…eye candy
  8. I like kicking asphalt
  9. So people will find me attractive
  10. A psychic told me I would find my soul mate during a great struggle in my life
  11. Aren’t the Olympic Games in KC this year?
  12. My mother dropped me on my head when I was young
  13. Someone told me it’s like beating a video game…but in real life!
  14. I was never one for making good decisions
  15. I wasn’t raised right
  16. I prefer learning things the hard way
  17. It’s part of my training for the zombie apocalypse…gotta beat the sprinters!

Although meant to be cheeky, I really don’t have a specific reason for running the race other than I’m in shape from my spring races and have four months to train for this race instead of the 4 weeks I trained for it last year (oh yeah, that hurt. DO NOT try that at home…or anywhere for that matter.) However, the more I think about my answer, “Because I can,” the more it does seem philosophical. I run because I can be strong, because I can overcome physical obstacles along the way, and because I can for all the people who can’t.

But, mostly, it’s because I can be a smart ass.

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