• He's been called the Pied Piper of the Second Running Boom. Once an overweight couch potato with a glut of bad habits, including smoking and drinking, at the age of 43 Bingham looked mid-life in the face—and started running.

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A Day of Our Own

June 1, 2011

That’s right. In case you missed it this is National Running Day. I had no idea until I got a call from a journalist who wanted to know my thoughts on – well – National Running Day.

Before you get too excited about running having come into the national conscience, let me remind you of a few other days.

January 13 is … National Blame Someone Else Day
January 14 is … National Dress Up Your Pet Day
January 19 is … National Popcorn Day
January 20 is … National Buttercrunch Day
January 21 is … National Hugging Day
January 22 is … National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day
January 23 is … National Measure Your Feet Day
January 24 is … National Eskimo Pie Patent Day
January 25 is … National Opposite Day

And that’s just a few of the days in January!

But, it’s still cool that there is a National Running Day. I’m not sure I understand exactly what we’re supposed to do today. I mean, it seems pretty clear what you’re supposed to do on National Dress Up Your Pet Day. I guess we’re supposed to run. Or walk. Or walk-run. Or run-walk. And, I guess we’re supposed to do it in public and make a big deal of it. Well, I probably won’t be doing that. I don’t care if anyone else does, but I won’t.

Running has always been a deeply private part of my life. It’s not that I haven’t run with small groups and in large events. I have. But, for the most part running has been my time to be with myself, by myself. It’s my time to reflect, to remember, to forget, to figure out, to just plain wonder about things. Running also been my time to undo the damage – physical, emotional, and spiritual – that I’d done to myself.  Even now, with 20 years of running behind me, I still find scraps of memories – good and bad – stuck in corners of my mind that I thought I had cleaned out long ago.

So while I’m happy that there’s a National Running Day, for me every day is a running day. And some of the most important running days have been the very days when I haven’t run.

Waddle on, friends.

John “the Penguin” Bingham, Competitor Magazine columnist
Author, The Courage to Start,No Need for Speed, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals.

Order your EARLY copy of John’s NEW book  An Accidental Athlete  today.

Have a question for John? Write him.


2 Responses

  1. I celebrated today with a bike ride. I could claim to be a contrarian but I ran yesterday. Happy Running Day!

  2. Miss reading your column in RW, but now I’ve got the blog. Good work. I’ve always found your writing inspiring.

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