I recently came across a TED Talk titled “Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking.” The speaker, Julian Treasure, began with the bad habits of communication listed above.
Whether verbal or written, communication is the foundation of human interaction and the glue that holds communities, large and small, together. It’s ubiquitous in every part of our lives. This applies to the running community as well.
Confession. I have been a Runnerspeak sinner.
Let’s be honest. I’ve been guilty. You’ve been guilty. Everyone has committed these sins in some shape or form.
Gossip: Running communities at the weekend-warrior level are tight-knit, usually a mere 1-2 degrees of separation. We hear stories, then we like to share them. It’s human nature. When harmless chatters turn into malicious and incessant trolling, it doesn’t create a delightful running experience.
Judging: Opining on everyone. Disapprove everything. Would you like a running commentary of your every move? No, thank you.
Runner A: The sun is out! Yea!
Runner B: It’s going to be hawt as F$#K!
Runner A: I can’t wait to check out the view up top.
Runner B: I heard it’s always foggy and visibility is terrible.
Runner A: I think Mikey will kick ass in this weekend’s race!
Runner B: He is not the best with pacing. High chance of a blowup.
Try not to be B.
Complaining: The climb is too steep. We’re going too fast. This workout sucks. This energy gel tastes horrible. Not very inspiring, is it? And certainly not fun to be around.
Excuses: It’s the weather. It’s the grip of the shoes. It’s the lack of hot food at aid stations. It’s the long office hours. It’s the sickly sweet energy gel. It’s the unclear course markings. It’s 100% never your own damn fault.
Exaggeration: Subtracting a few minutes off your time. Boasting your ranking. Sometimes it’s just straight-up lies. Hate to break it to you. Everything is online these days. Your bullshit will be called out eventually.
Dogmatic: You’re the know it all. You know best. Everyone else is misinformed or inexperienced.
I’ve been guilty of these, but hopefully, not regularly and not to such an obnoxious extreme. This little sport we do for fun should be precisely that – FUN!
Words matter. So remember:
Be kind to others.
Keep up the good vibes.
Be your authentic self, and allow others to be theirs.
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