Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Streakers

Happy Valentine’s Day! This was supposed to be a day for chocolate, flowers, going out for dinner with a sweetheart, etc.

But instead, Mother Nature threw a nasty surprise that kept us all away from work and stuck indoors for most of the day. The Washington, D.C. area has been under a
winter storm condition where 2-4 inches of ice and sleet is covering everything outdoors. In the early afternoon, I managed to go outside and spent couple of hours clearing the cars and walkways of thick ice. That was no walk in the park and it required heavy physical exertion. I was so tired afterwards (price to be paid for running so little lately) that I fell asleep sitting on a chair in front of the computer. My body felt like I did a hard 60-90 minute run.

Speaking of a run, I wonder how many people braved the severe weather to go out for a run today. I am sure there were some hard core running nuts- I mean enthusiasts- that hit the icy pavements this morning just as they do everyday without fail. These enthusiasts put to shame the US Postal service who claims that “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat…” will ever stop it from delivering mail. If you are wondering, yes, I did see the mailman deliver today!

Anyway, these committed runners are known as “
streak runners.” Not to be mistaken with lunatics who enjoy sprinting across a crowd in the nude, these streakers are known for not missing a day of run for decades, even on days such as the one we had today. These people run through injury, bad weather, surgery, death of a loved one, or anything else you can think of.

Last March, as a way to motivate myself, I decided to see how many consecutive days that I could run. I managed to run everyday for forty five days but then I missed a day. And of course, once you miss a day you will soon miss another, which is perhaps why these people do anything to keep their streak alive.

Still, I can’t imagine how anyone could manage to
run every single day for twenty years or more. For that matter, I can’t even imagine running everyday for a year, which is the minimum requirement to become an official streaker. Can you think of anything (not life sustaining) that you have done everyday for a year more? Perhaps praying or reading your Bible or driving a car or even surfing the internet? I don’t think many can answer this question in the affirmative.

So why do streakers do what they do? A possible explanation could be that they are addicted to running. And yes, there is such a thing as “
running addiction.” You may be asking yourself whether running addiction is a good thing or not. An argument can be made that no addiction is a good thing. However, I would counter argue that most people already have a “no-exercise addiction” and I am convinced that a running addiction would beat that any day.

So I need your help to become an addict. I want to know if anyone is interested in attempting to become an official streaker. We will start slow and maybe try just one week and then perhaps a one month streak initially. For ease of keeping track, we can start on March 1. Of course, all the risk (and benefit) is exclusively yours and yours only. Therefore you will need to make sure you are medically cleared by your doctor before making your attempt on becoming a streaker.

Finally, I must say that it sure is strange to feel like a “drug” pusher, but it is a price I am willing to pay to make an “addict” out of myself.