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March 9, 2008

Runners Wanted

Believe it or not, this is a real photograph:

It hasn’t been photoshopped or digitally modified – it’s just a plain old (yet amazingly cool) picture taken by a guy named Thomas Peschak, for an article called Shark Detectives in the September 2005 issue of Africa Geographic.

It’s a good example of how a still photograph can be even more captivating than a video, as the uncertainty of what happens next is mysteriously intriguing. At the very least, it’s an effective way to capture the attention.

That’s why I inserted the photo into an e-mail to my Friday running group.

For various reasons, the weekly gathering of my training partners on Friday mornings has dwindled significantly over the past several weeks. Injuries, illnesses, work/travel schedules, and general ambivalence have gradually taken their toll – and instead of drawing 4 or 5 other runners on a regular basis, I recently find myself thankful when anyone shows up at all.

So on Thursday, I sent the picture along with the regular reminder, as well as this message:

“The man in the kayak is you. The shark is complacency. Who’s in?”

I figured the symbolic kick in the pants, not to mention the pleasantly early sunrises we enjoyed last week, would get a few more people out to the 6AM start. The e-mail went out to a group of about 10 runners.

The result? Exactly one person showed up. So much for capturing anyone's attention.

Apparently I don’t have quite the persuasive power of a shark - but at least the two of us managed to have a nice run. And I was able to evade the predator of complacency for still one more day.

Finally, in a related story: I’m currently in the market for some Friday morning trail runners. If you happen to know of anyone in the Monterey area who might be interested, please tell them where to find me.

(P.S. in case you're wondering ... the shark didn't attack the kayaker.)


Anne 3/9/08, 1:31 AM  

Well this is sure gonna make me want to swim in open waters again. Complacency is a less formidable predator, but perhaps just as destructive if you aren't aware of its presence. It may take an extra week for the others in your trail running group to realize that.

mindy 3/9/08, 5:50 AM  

If I can get a scholarship to fly out to Monterey for Friday morning trail runs, I would most certainly be in! Loved the photo. I hope those in your group come back to center and out of complacency (Maybe they were thinkng "But we don't kayak?")

David 3/9/08, 2:04 PM  

Do a word search for "lazy complacent people" on YouTube and find them something guilt-laden to watch.

PreFan1982 3/9/08, 7:07 PM  

Hey tell me more about the ultra running. I am hoping to finish my first marathon at the end of this year and would like to move into some ultra events.
Are there many ultra events in the Southeastern US?

PreFan1982 3/9/08, 7:07 PM  

Hey tell me more about the ultra running. I am hoping to finish my first marathon at the end of this year and would like to move into some ultra events.
Are there many ultra events in the Southeastern US?

Rainmaker 3/9/08, 7:48 PM  

Awesome photo, thanks for sharing.

Bummer that people didn't show up. Perhaps bribing would work better? Oreos?

As to the photo, I've been to South Africa and have gone out on Great White cage diving expeditions. Without a doubt - one of the coolest experiances I've ever done. Some amazing photos as well from both below water and above. Nothing compares to having a 16' shark the width of a minivan crash onto the cage. Awesome.

RunBubbaRun 3/10/08, 5:08 AM  

Now there's an image, maybe that is why I don't do triathlons that take place in a ocean..

Glad you got your running friends off there ass.. It's good to have company now and then when running.

triguyjt 3/10/08, 12:51 PM  

great way to get your message across.

pictures are powerful purveyors of purpose.

heres to having more people show up for your runs..

olga 3/10/08, 1:15 PM  

Next time promise to show up with a few hot bimbo's in tight tops (or without) - I garantee success. At least that what my training partners told me to do while running last Sunday - to put a few girls togther and invite them (well, may be a couple more guys, but no more than that).
Told ya we talk sex when we run:)

Annette 3/10/08, 2:17 PM  

It sounds like the shark did get a few of those runners, though. :(

Good luck rousing those runners. I'm sure they'll be back soon.

I've been experiencing the lack of commitment with people in other areas. It's so frustrating, but I really think that society has become too much about "me" and so no one wants to commit to anything - just in case something better comes along. (OK, maybe I'm overthinking it, but that's my two cents for today!) :)

Deene 3/10/08, 2:46 PM  

good luck with the Friday trail runners!

rick 3/11/08, 12:14 AM  

Too bad I don't live close by. Okay I'm lying, even if I did I still wouldn't get up at 5 to run at 6 on a Friday morning. Besides if there was a mountain lion and it was just the two of us I just know it will be me that the lion will get first.

I have however been getting up at 6 to bike at 7am on Friday mornings with a new bike training partner. It's not so bad actually once Im up. Easier than running though.

SLB 3/13/08, 8:32 PM  

Great photo...damn shame you so close but so far!

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