Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Necessity of Etiquette & Assimilation
Obviously, I feel, if I'm going to take the time to write, hopefully someone will read it. As a result, I started looking for ways I could "grow my audience" and took the advice of another runner who suggested posting links to my blog in other running forums. Great idea right? Yea, not so much so.
I went to the most obvious of places, www.runnersworld.com, and started posting away. I quickly learned, not only was this a bad idea, it seemed to be a very popular bad idea. It seems many bloggers do this, as well as websites attempting to advertise their products. Many of the "regulars" on these blogs quickly put me in my place. I received comments such as "I don't read spam", "Thanks for the advice. I couldn't think of any running websites to go to for running advice.", etc. There was also, some very constructive feedback, that really made me re-evaluate my "advice."
At first, I was a little bothered by this. I mean, I've invested the last several years of my life in becoming a pretty descent runner and now I'm taking the time to share and I'm being treated like that! WTF! I've always found runners to be overly friendly and accepting of fellow runners. So, I never expected this reaction. But, this had obviously pissed some people off. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I started to understand their point of view.
There is nothing that bothers me more than going to a race and having to deal with people (usually inexperienced runners) who have poor race etiquette. The slow runners or even walkers, that line up at the front. The people that walk to the left or center of the course. Or worse yet, the 4 or 5 friends that decided to walk the race and walk side by side, taking up the entire running lane!! The people that spit where ever and when ever they feel like it along the course. I really don't want to run in your spit! The people who throw their drinks, Gu's, etc. without even looking at where it's going. You get my point.
Without even realizing it, I had entered this new sub-culture, of running forums, all cocky and full of myself. Similar to someone who has trained for weeks in preparation for their first 5k. But, I failed to take a single moment to consider if there was a right way to go about becoming an accepted part of this sub-culture. So, to my fellow runners that I've successfully annoyed, consider this my public apology. I'm sorry :(
I think this was a good lesson. And a lesson that can be shared with all. Whether you are an experienced runner or training for your first race, it's important to take the time to learn the ways of the people. And that, my friends, is my lengthy definition of Assimilation.