Monday, 10 February 2014

Why is running anyone else's business but your own?

In your day to day life, you might make your friend a cup of tea, you might let someone on the bus before you, you might reply to a text, you might stay late to work on a project to help a colleague out. You will do one thousand little things because of other people, because you are (you hope) a good person.

But there is one thing I can do, that has no impact on anyone else. But lately I've felt like my control has slipped. And today, people, I want to take that back.

I run because it makes me feel good. Not because I want to show off my mileage. Not because I'm training for a race. And certainly not because I want to look a certain way (my legs wobble in a truly delightful way). It's not in anyone else's interests but my own, and yet the whole world seems to have an opinion about me moving my own feet.

To put it bluntly: I am sick to death of being shouted at, heckled, beeped and run after (I kid you not) every single time I want to get my heart rate up.

It's not a compliment. It does not "spur me on". It makes me jump, makes me worry about my safety in the dark, and quite frankly it would be heart-stoppingly terrifying if I didn't know that you wouldn't be able to keep up, should I decide to leg it away.

"Ignore it", you might say. But why should I have to? Why should I have to hear your noises and pretend like it's not happening?

I can't retaliate either. I can't square up to you because you're often bigger than me, or you're too fast in your stupid revved up Polo, or you're in a pack of intoxicated morons. You have the control. You have taken the control away from me, away from me doing what I love for myself.

I shouldn't have to take a bloke with me to stop this from happening. When I'm out running with my boyfriend or my Dad, the voices miraculously disappear.

It bores me to tears and what upsets me the most is that it doesn't make me want to run faster - it makes me want to stop. I am bored of it and I am bored of the idea that this happens to other runners too.

So, if you're reading this and you're the type of arsehole who thinks it's funny to honk at someone trying to better themselves, take a good long look at yourself. All you are doing is showing your inadequacy because you know we'd beat you in a race.

And if you're like me, sick of the noises, I hear you. I'll carry on sharing my progress and celebrating you on your milestones. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I know damn sure I'll carry on running faster, longer and stronger - because I want us to win.


  1. I totally agree with you.
    Miss Bows

  2. Yes, it's ridiculous. I don't personally run, but I've seen men leering out of vans at female runners. So stupid. It's as if they think it's a miraculous site that a woman wants to run and is good at it. x

  3. Yes! Guys have beeped at me and shouted out of their vans before while I've been running and I honestly just don't understand what goes through their minds. I always run with my headphones in so it scares me half to death too because I don't always hear them straight away. I love your fighting spirit though, don't let those arses get you down! xx

  4. Claire! Whenever I drive past a runner (maybe on my journey to the shop round the my buy chocolate) I always wish I had their motivation. It's funny isn't it, people don't heckle in the gym so why do they find it acceptable to do so in the street?
    Ignore the overweight jeering men, they're the ones catching their breath as they reach for the tv remote.


  5. Oh my goodness THANK YOU for writing this! Luckily where I run it doesn't happen too often but there is the occasional shout/whistle ect. which just ruins it for me. I don't think anyone would consider what they do a compliment, and I completely agree about not feeling safe. I used to run at night but had to stop because I would be worrying throughout. I'll never understand why people feel the need to try to bring down and harass someone for doing something they enjoy.

  6. This is the sort of thing that puts me off running :( So annoying! I know friends who run at lunch time at work and get heckled by builders, so frustrating. I guess we can just ignore and listen to music but we shouldn't have to put up with it. xx

  7. I feel your pain! I try to ignore it but it does make me cross, I tend to just shout back at them but only as long as there are other people/lights around!)

    Maria xxx

  8. Proper jerks. Glad to hear you're enjoying it when it all goes well though.

    Buckets & Spades

  9. Why can't they just keep quiet? It's awful. I get beeped/shouted at even when I'm just walking. But if you're running and minding your own business, they should mind theirs. It's not hard.
    I can't believe people run after you either, that would scare the hell out of me.

  10. I usually run down a fairly quiet road so don't have to put up with any comments, stares or beeping but that quiet road is also next to a festival site. I learnt last year to not run down there when the festival site is being cleared up as some guys just can't resist. I had guys follow me down the road and others making disgusting comments. They all backed off once they discovered I have a bit of a mouth on me but it put me off running for a while.
    I wish we didn't have to put up with this crap. I don't know why guys think it's appropriate to make those remarks and beep at girls (whether they're just walking or running) but I hope to god there's a day where a girl teaches them a lesson.

    Raise The Waves

  11. I love running, get fit or die trying


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