I enjoy running. I am definitely not the fastest runner out there or as dedicated as others are to the sport. Some might say that running should not even be considered a sport but a lifestyle. I would agree with these people and so does Pearl Izumi. According to the book “We Are Not Joggers” by Pearl Izumi http://www.wearenotjoggers.com/book.html running is being domesticated and endangered. Many might not believe this, and I would have argued otherwise myself until I read this short book a few years ago on how those “runners” that you see out in the park on those sunny summer days are not runners at all. “We Are Not Joggers” arises the distinctions between jogging and running. I always thought that the difference was that joggers are going slower. Marathon racers move slower then 5K racers and we consider both of these groups of “runners”, runners. So what is the distinction between the two? “The truth is, the line between running and jogging is different for every person. And every person knows just where it is for them. It’s all about feel.” This also may be a hard answer for most and “We Are Not Joggers” addresses this by simply stating, “If you’re not sure whether you are running or jogging, go faster.”
Now that that is out of the way I should tell you why I treat this like a holy document. First off, Pearl Izumi wrote this book and started their “We Are Not Joggers” website to try to spark their running shoe line and grab people’s attention. It was a harsh and straightforward marketing approach. That could be one reason that I like this so much. Someone who is being straightforward about what they say says a great deal to me. Another reason why I like this book is the fact that it brings running back to the roots of the act. True or not but I would agree with Pearl Izumi that running originated as a way to stay alive. The website has wallpapers for your desktop of your computer and for the last few years I have used one of their quotes as my desktop image. It reads, “If you ever want to see who the true runners are, take a peek outside during mother nature’s next hissyfit.” This quote is not in their book word for word, and I do believe they have updated the book in the last few months from its original text, but I love this quote. I can look at it everyday and it will motivate me to run in the craziest weather. I live my life from what comes from this book and website. Now do not think that I am crazy, I have not found any dead bodies yet but if that day comes I will not be surprised. Just like there are activist groups out there trying to save endangered animals this site is trying to save the domesticated act of running.
Running for me connects me to the natural environment. I have not encountered as many wild animals going on a hike as I have running. Encountering other species of animals out in the woods transforms the domesticated human, into the wild untamed side of humans. I hate it when humans count themselves out when talking about animals. I am no biologist but I do believe that I am an animal. I may be a domesticated animal but that still does count as being an animal, right? Today’s society makes me cringe when it views itself outside of the animal realm.
The view of Pearl Izumi’s marketing team is out there, but right up my ally. I hope that others reading this can understand what their message is and adapt it to themselves. Everyone reading this should get a different view from it. Hopefully readers of this book will come to the understanding of where our society is today and how far it has come since the Neolithic era. Sitting behind a computer or in a building for some of us is life, and others it is torture. This is also similar to how runners view running. Runners view it as a way to get back to their roots with nature, as other athletes view running as torture for their sport. So when it is a sunny summer day and you decide to go outside and move those feet of yours, just remember, “Run like an animal.”