The Runter

People like to say that runners are crazy. Maybe they’re just jealous that they themselves can’t run miles upon miles. People also like to say that writers are crazy. Maybe these haters just had a bad teacher in high school that discouraged them from writing, so they try to tear down those that are fulfilling their hopes and dreams. Whatever the reason, it’s kind of rude and needs to stop. Okay, I guess it makes sense when you look at some of the things runners and writers do.

A runner has many habits that non-runners find strange. First off, who in their right mind would get up at five in the morning on a weekend to run “for fun”? What normal person does that? Don’t get me started on their diet. No, you know what? I can’t stay silent about this. These freaks eat these flavored gelatinous blobs they say is delicious, yet they make a face every time they suck it through the little pouch. Makes me sick just thinking about it. I think the goo is supposed to help give them energy or something, I don’t know. Give me a Red Bull any day, just don’t expect me to try one of those.

Runners are also strangely proud of black toenails. Seriously, it’s like a rite of passage or something. They seem to get even more excited when they actually lose a toenail. Ugh! Freaks! I would not want to be the person giving them a pedicure. They also pay a crap ton of money to run with a bunch of people in a place where they could normally run for free. And for what? A t-shirt? Free beer? Nothing can justify running that far for that amount of money.

All runners talk about is running. Their Instagram is full of pictures of them at a race or taking a mid-run selfie. News flash runners: NO ONE CARES! And how about once you finish your run that you just Tweeted about, you take a break like a normal person would, instead of  talking about your next run. Give it a year. Or five. You barely finished running, there’s no reason to plan your next one. You’re done. Stop it!

What’s worse is when you see kids out there running. Kids! These poor impressionable kids that don’t understand why they’re running or what it all means. Someone should start a charity to help those kids see what a normal life is like. A life full of video games and junk food. Let’s keep these kids indoors where they belong.

Writers. Writers are nothing more than antisocial day dreamers that spend more time in their own heads than they do reality. Try having a normal conversation with a writer. Just try it. Hard, right? That’s because they analyze every word and try to figure out how to incorporate this conversation into their books.

Speaking of conversations, have you ever watched a writer at work? They talk to themselves, gestures and all, pretending to be like their characters. They’ll make some sort of face and then furiously write, like they had to make the face to try and figure out how to describe it.

Writers are so absent-minded sometimes. They can carry five or six story lines in their head and keep details of each one separate, but if you ask one what he had for breakfast that morning, he couldn’t tell you. He might look at you funny before going back to work. Just don’t look at their search history right after you do this. You might see something concerning, like, “how to bury a body”. A writer’s search history is full of things like that. If you confront him about it, he will just brush it off with, “I’m a writer”, like that should explain every single bizarre thing he does. What is scary is when he says something like that, keeps eye contact, and writes something down. If a writer does that, run, but not too fast or too far, of course. He just killed a character based off of you.

Runners and writers may sometimes seem like two completely different people, but now and then there is the rare person that is both a runner and a writer. A runter, if you will. These people play by a different set of rules. They do things a little differently than a “normal” (normal here being subjective, since we all know runners and writers are crazy) runner or writer would do.

What are some things a runter might do that the typical runner or writer wouldn’t do? The runter is fortunate because she has something to take her mind off of how much this long run sucks. She’s thinking about her story, characters, plot lines, and how everything will fit together. She’s not stuck thinking about how hot it is or how steep this hill is. Sometimes she might make corresponding faces and gestures while running, because she’s having these conversations between characters in her head. These faces are different than the tortured look a runner usually has. If you see a runter doing this, just go along with it.

A runter will notice things while running that a normal runner might miss, because the runter is looking for inspiration. She will notice the way the sunlight hits the leaves just so to make them look like gold. The runter will use some of her favorite places to run as inspiration for scenes to take place. She will somehow use all senses (even though she can barely breathe) to fully experience that location, and then translate the experience into words. Sometimes this may cause a runter to fall or run into something. It’s okay to laugh, because they will too and will probably be thinking of how to incorporate that into their writing.

A runter will almost always feature a runner in his writing. This character will run and race in places the runter author has run or wants to run. After all, writers are told to write what they know, and they know running. They know the discipline it takes to get up early day after day to run before going off to work. They know that when you reach this stretch of the course, you want to barf because you’re so exhausted. They know about the funny and sometimes embarrassing things that can happen while running, like accidently peeing yourself, or worse.

Both runners and writers have a different sense of accomplishment than others would expect. Ask any normal person what they think a successful runner would do, and they might say something like, “Win a race,” or, “Run fast,”. Yeah, those are nice things to work towards, but it takes an even more special brand of crazy to do that. Most runners are concerned with smaller goals like finishing a race under a certain time, or even just to finish a race. A runner may have a goal to beat a previous time in a race.

When thinking about a writer’s success, one might automatically assume that being a best-selling author is the ultimate goal. That would be pretty amazing, but it’s hard to get there for most writers, so they settle for smaller goals. Hitting a word count goal for the week. Writing so many short stories in a month. Earning a certain amount of money off work. Whatever the goal a writer has, it’s usually less grand than making it big. Runners and writers are realistic in their goals. They want to aim higher, but they know their limitations.

A runter will have an amazing supportive community on both sides. Runners will have fellow authors cheer them on as they reach a new milestone. Writers have runners that are excited to hear about their work, and their running family will be some of the first to buy the book or read the story. Because the runter has a foot in both worlds, they will be able to connect with more readers, opening more doors.

Yeah, a runter is pretty crazy. They do a lot of strange things, but you have to admit, they have a pretty awesome “family” helping them get through life. If you know a runter, keep them close, because you’re in for a treat. If you happen to be a runter, hats off to you! You’re in good company!



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