Are we crazy?

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Scott Warr

A recent post in our forums brings this question to light: Are we crazy? We are asked all the time by people outside the world of ultra running. How do you reply? What is your response?

As for me…I’ll side with Dr. Sheehan on this one. Let’s see your thoughts in the comment section or in the forum post above.

[quote author=”Dr. George Sheehan”]We who run are different from those who merely study us. We are out there experiencing what they are trying to put into words. We know what they are merely trying to know. They are seeking belief, while we already believe. Our difficulty is in expressing the whole truth of that experience, that knowledge, that belief.[/quote]
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9 comments
  • I have lost friends since I started running 🙁 They didn’t understand. They think I’m an addict (I am) and they don’t want an addict in their circle. So now I have a new circle made up of other ultra runners. I’m happier, though going through it was painful.
    I have a family member who refused to pray for my healing during times of injury, and success in races because this person believed/believes I’m abusing myself.
    I found God out there, I found myself too. To the rest of the world I’m ether too__________, or need to be more __________. While out there I’m me. I’m what God made and I’m as close to perfect as I will ever achieve here on earth. I seek that self acceptance and the acceptance from my trail runner family with all my heart. Does that make me crazy? If so, it is a craziness I embrace and it has made me a better person.

  • So far I have never had anyone who wasn’t excited for me. They may never run an ultra or even a trail race but they can see how much it excites me and that will make anyone with any imagination perk up and pay attention. We may be crazy and we may be addicted but for the most part it seems to be a physically, mentally and emotionally healthy crazy addiction.

  • Dave Chappelle said it best:
    “The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive. “I don’t understand this person. So they’re crazy.” That’s bullshit. These people are not crazy. They strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick.”

    To say, “___________ is crazy because they ______________!” is essentially mental laziness. It’s arrogant too. You are essentially (sometimes subconsciously) saying, “I do not understand what you do, based on my own personal experiences and perspective, so therefore, if I don’t personally want to do it nor understand it, YOU must be CRAZY.”

    The people who say, “Jimmy Dean you’re CRAZY!” I simply agree with, smile and move on. You’ve been put to a certain part of my brain/experience and labeled “mentally lazy”.

    To me, what’s INSANE is not living a life to the fullest. Not seeking experiences that stretch and challenge us. Not looking to experience things we’ve never experienced, things we don’t understand to get out of our comfort zone.

    As for those who dismissively say, “you’re an addict”, I also smile and agree with those people too. My vanilla response, “Absolutely. And you’re addicted to breathing, if you stop doing it you’ll die. If I stop running, the person I hope to be will die too.”

    In the end, our friends self-select a little bit. We have MANY friends who don’t ultra run, MANY who aren’t even interested in running. We love those individuals just the same. But those closest to us all share something in common, they are extraordinary open-minded adventurous people, who embrace what they do and don’t invalidate what others do that’s different than them. They are fellow PASSION seekers. They just found passion in different things…

    • Very well said Jimmy. Thank you for articulating this so well.
      Yes we are all addicts. I’m addicted to eating and running.
      Some are addicted to being negatively judgmental of things they don’t understand.

      Scott!! Too funny!!! LOL

    • “If I stop running, the person I hope to be will die too.”
      I love this. Running allows me to push myself and grow into the person I hope to be.

  • I’m not an ultrarunner (yet), but I’ve gotten similar comments about backpacking and hiking trips that I’ve done, too. My thought is summed up in a quote from some writer better than me (can’t remember who):
    “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t understand, no explanation will suffice”

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