Dear Adrienne and Julia,
As the daughter, wife, and mother of current and former military personnel, I believe in your right to say anything you want, about anything you think.
But that also means I also have the right to call you an elitist jerk.
Who are you to scoff and my finishing time and tell me I didn't finish? I was up and on my feet and I went the distance. Moreover, I carried more weight and was working at it longer--making me a stronger endurance athlete than you.
My youngest son joined cross country in his sophomore year at school, to improve his running speed. Why? Because his parents, neither of them elite runners, had joined the world endurance sports, including traithlon, marathons, and ultras, and they looked like they were having fun, and he wanted to try it, too. He would not have done that if we had just been exercising. It was going to these events and seeing people finish that inspired him. Then, he noticed that he was more fit and slimmer when he ran. So he runs now. This chain of events started because he saw his mother running in races. He liked the social aspect of it. He enjoyed being part of a community.
Who knows how many potential elite runners might exist in someone, but because you discourage them from trying, they will never try...never get better. Who knows how many people you discourage in your daily life - if you're willing to say that publicly, who knows what you say to those around you on a day-to-day basis.
As a former educator, and parent, I'm stunned that you are each apparently involved in the field of education, stunned and saddened. I note that Adrienne runs a local track club. Does she turn people away who don't meet her expectations?
You can sit on your laurels and feel threatened that others are participating in your sport, or you can be happy that people are endeavoring to be fit and healthy and try something they've never tried before...and then to try and try again to get better at it.
That's all I have to say to Julie (whose email may or may not be firstname.lastname@example.org) and Adrienne (whose email may or may not be email@example.com).
Other than, girls, seriously. Get over yourself.
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