Thursday, October 15, 2009

will exercise for money

this sunday was the chicago marathon. it was cold, it was windy, i imagine it was a very long and tiring four hour run.  but i bet everybody that did it was very proud of themselves. myself, i woke up at 1:15. that's pm, baby.  in the spectrum of sunday morning accomplishment, you had a slew of russians and kenyans pushing their bodies to the point of exhaustion for over two hours. 
and, on the polar opposite side of things, you had a 26 year old adult man sleeping until a time suitable for lunch.  
but back to the seems that most everyone i know that ran had some sort of charity or organization they were raising money for.  i think this is pretty commonplace now. everyone has seen a request in their inbox, pledges to donate money for every mile run. or mile biked. or mile walked. or hour stayed up to. you get the picture.
and i feel like this has become a great donation business, pushing yourself to physical extremes to help out a cause, group or research pertinent to your life.
but i'm more concerned about how, exactly, the practice of donating money for marathons etc. originated.  i'm sure it was something good-natured, people looking to help out their athletic nephew, neighbor or good looking dorm resident advisor.

but this is the dialogue i imagined in my head.

"hi, paul. this is jeff."

"hey jeff, what's happening? saw you out runnin the other day"

"yeah, that was me.  love it! but i was actually calling to ask you...well ask sort of a favor of you."

"oh yeah? need help movin? airport again?"

"actually, i'm trying to raise money for a charity, it helps do research on (nameless illness). if i can get donations from all my friends, family and co-workers i could make a really good contribution."

"oooh....well, am i gonna get anything out of this?"

"i mean, just the satisfaction of helping out i guess."

"hmm. well, see i just don't know if that's enough for me.  i mean, i'd be willing to donate, i just...i'm just not gonna give it out for free."

"i mean, i could maybe do some chores for you?"


"a nice dinner?"

"no, i won't need that."

"well what then?"

"well, i'd like to see you...i don't know...i want to see you just fucking run."

"like, sprint somewhere?"

"no, no sprinting. i want you to run for like....5 fucking hours. straight."


"right through baby."

"and if i run for five hours straight you'll give me 70 dollars for research?"

"believe it, my man.  and you have to take pictures of it, for proof."

...or something like that.