I’ve got a funny running related story I want to tell you, something that happened to me on my run Wednesday, but first I need to give some background.
I’ve talked about identity in relation to running in previous posts, addressing the absolute comfort I feel as a “runner”, despite any definitive outward appearance that screams the identity. The thing with identity is that it isn’t dependent upon an outward appearance, a costume, but the simplistic way of expressing or pigeonholing ones identity is often through their outward appearance, however, as I’ve gotten older I’ve often deliberately strayed from advertising too much. It’s more amusing to keep people guessing.
With that in mind I should clarify that, among so many other labels, I also identify as an anarchist. Not the “I just bought a rad anarchy headband at Hot Topic” kind of anarchist, but an individual actively involved in the fight for both social and self-liberation. Trust me, my anarchism is not a newfound teenage-type rebellious phase. It is a deeply considered identity and association. And being in touch with the modern anarchist milieu, the same entrapments of any identity are played out in many ways, most noticeably with similarities in appearance. Myself though, I have never really dressed (or smelled) the part. For those of your less in tune with anarchist identity, the appearance often involves lots of black clothing, often filled with holes, lots of band patches, dirty dreadlocks in some state of development, brown carhart pants turned nearly black with dirt and soot, and an almost visible smell of body odor, alcohol, and who knows what else. Despite however “down” I may consider myself, this is certainly not my choice of costume, which oddly enough has gotten me into trouble at some convergences where I’ve been routinely called out as a police informant simply because I don’t dress the part.
So anyways, amusingly enough, from time to time I’ll be out on a run and pass a group of kids, usually traveler kids, dressed in the typical anarcho-costume and I always have the strong urge to say hi, or say something that would clue them into our mutual association. I never come up with something that doesn’t make me sound like a total tool. I want to say “safe travels” or “viva anarchy” or something along those lines, but when I think about it, something like that coming from some dude in shorts barely big enough to not be considered underwear would probably come off more as mockery than anything else. So I always keep my mouth shut and keep running.
Ok, so the story. I’m doing a couple of loops on the canal downtown, rockin my short shorts, sweaty as all hell, and wearing nothing else but my shoes. As soon as I hit the canal I pass by a group of traveling anarcho-punk kids hanging out in the shade underneath one of the street overpasses. They are looking down at something as I run by. So in my head I’m thinking maybe I’ll say something to them the next time I go by. I always think it would make a good story for them to be like, “some total runner dude yelled out ANARCHY! when we were in Indy!”. Anyways, when I come around the second time I don’t have anything good to say, but considered pointing them in the right direction as I figured they were all looking at a map the first time I passed. As I come up on them though I smell that distinct alcohol mixed with B.O. stench and notice that they are actually doing crossword puzzles, so I don’t bother and just keep going.
So on my last lap I’m starting to pass them on the other side of the canal when one of them yells out,
“I’m faster than you!” followed by, “Wanna race?”
I turn, wave them my way and say, “Come on!”, but no one moves. So quick on my mental feet something pops in my head and I finally get to make my associations known. I yell back to them,
“Hey! I’ll beat you to the Crimethinc Convergence!”
I get nothing but stunned silence. The crimethinc convergence is a once a year gathering of anarchists, mostly populated by a very specific type of anarchist, such as the kind I went running by. Now, it would have been one thing to yell something about anarchy in general, but to specifically reference the crimethinc convergence would convey a much deeper involvement in the culture. I would have payed to hear the conversation that ensued afterwards. I mean, some total jock-looking, near naked runner just referenced the crimethinc convergence in a city they don’t even live in. Of all the runners they could have mocked that day, they had to pick the anarchist. I’m thinking those kids are suffering from Foot In Mouth disease right about now. Man that was awesome.
Today, nothing. I was going to do an easy 10 when I realized with tomorrow’s run this week’s total would be 88 miles, well above the 70 I’m supposed to be closer too. I was still going to do it, but my girlfriend’s son came back from visiting his father so we spent the evening playing in a river. Tomorrow will be the 20 miler though.
Breakfast – Oatmeal (w/ peanut butter, almonds, raisins, turbinado) coffee
Lunch – Leftover stir fry w/ tofu, okra
Dinner – not much of a dinner….Cream of Wheat, tortilla chips w/ salsa, whole wheat bread w/ romesco
Snacks – coffee, water, heart thrive cookies, cherry tomatoes, bumble bars