I wrote an article in November for a contest submission in December. By March, the article was listed among winning submissions, and in May it was published. A reminder to me that effort and patience go hand in hand - one of the standout lessons I’ve learned from ultrarunning, and ongoing motivation to stay focused on whatever’s next.
Since I began ultrarunning, I must hear the word “crazy” at least a dozen times each week. It’s the reflexive word many emit upon finding out just how far and often I run – though I am fully aware the 40-60 miles I log each week are fraction of what many ultrarunners do…Perspective on that is relative, right?
I bet you’ve been on the receiving end of statements like these as well:
I realize that usually the word is expressed in a positive, “holy wow” kind of tone, but I’ve gotta say, I’m getting tired of being called crazy.
I was raised in a family of English majors, lovers of language that fill downtime with Scrabble, crosswords, reading, and writing. From them I learned to communicate clearly, taking care to choose the best, most appropriate words. A few words were even banned from conversation simply because there was almost always a stronger, more compelling option available.
Today, I’m banning the word “crazy” from my ultrarunning conversation. Its multiple meanings and intonations – combined with all too ubiquitous use – make it a weak word choice indeed. There’s almost always a better option available:
Next time the word “crazy” creeps into a conversation about your running, try replacing it (or suggesting a replacement) with one of these, and see how a simple edit can become an uplifting improvement:
What words will you use?
This article first appeared on trailandultratunning.com