Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Runner's Integrity

Lets talk about something that has been on my mind the past few days, integrity.

I don't mean to be a jerk face, but there is something in life that I think everyone should possess and value...and that is their integrity. Knowing that all merit is backed by honest and moral principles is what makes achievement so special, and I have always valued my integrity. While I am not a perfect person and have a lot of terrible qualities, it has always been important for me to uphold an honest and true picture of who I am in life and not to parade around as something I am not. I do not take credit for others work, and I appreciate and respect the success of others.

That being said, I think that this is also a quality that should be upheld in athletics. Sportsmanship is an extremely attractive quality in an athlete, and all great physical achievements come from honest hard work. There is no way to cheat the system and still come out on top. Dopers get caught and so do racers who think that they can out smart the system and take course shortcuts.

Why is this all so important to me today? Because cheating deprives you of who you are and has the ability to hurt others along the way. Cutting a race course where you misrepresent your abilities is not cool, and taking credit for work that you simply did not do is basically fraud. Plainly put no one like recognition for their merit going to someone else who found out a way to cheat the system and today my feelings are hurt because of this. I feel like I am reliving a sad fall day nearly two years ago when some jerk decided that they had more rights to my new bicycle then I did, so they cut the lock and took it while I was in a yoga class. Robbed blindly.

In the movie Without Limits Bill Bowermans character says one of the most prolific things that I have ever heard, that "the purpose of a race is not to win, it is to test the limits of the human heart". A man is no greater because he won, he is greater because for a brief moment in time he took a step outside of his comfort zone and believed that he could achieve something great.

There are no intentions to be controversial here or to point fingers and name names, recent events have just put a damper on my heart that I needed to get off my chest. Having integrity in your works and not claiming that which is not yours is good humanity and common courtesy. Nuff said. Thank you.


  1. I almost have an urge to write something with the title "a climber's integrity" ...but of course the outcome would be similar to yours hehehe

    Great post, I agree with what you said. There are too many people with no integrity and sometimes it really gets to me. Of course I shouldn't let it get to me since I"ll only be hurting myself, but it pains me to see people like this.

  2. well said! integrity is a pretty important quality.. you won't end up with the same sense of personal achievement if you didn't put in the work for your "accomplishment". i haven't personally encountered an issue with this in the running world (although i'm sure we all have in other settings..) i hate that whatever happened to get you down!

  3. I love that quote and how you dissected it. So very true! I have no idea why people would want to cheat during a race. The person you're hurting the most is yourself. Why not do the work and earn it like everyone else? Great post!

  4. I'm sorry to read that some unsportsmanlike behavior on the part of another athlete has you down! While I don't think I've come across that personally in the running world (but I'm a back of the pack kind of runner so it could be happening and I wouldn't be aware of it), I have been the victim of bike theft, identity theft, pick-pocketing, and a home robbery in the past several years. All of these events left me feeling violated and angry. Honesty, integrity, and compassion are values that I find extremely important.

  5. AMEN.
    I think I might link this post ....I have a special quote that goes along with this that i meant to post yesterday but forgot.
    After this post, I love you that much more;)

  6. Excellent post! Couldn't have said it any better myself.

  7. Awesome post. I couldn't agree with you more :)

  8. EXCELLENT post Britt and extrememly well written. I'm so sorry you had to see that behavior first hand :P Disappointing to say the least!

  9. Wow! Great post! Course shortcuts for the sake of a time.....Seriously sad as a runner like this obviously can't find satisfaction in their own eyes for their achievements, only in the eyes of others......Damn sure I would rather have the self satisfaction of a hard earned race time than a number that others see but I didnt earn......

    So well written.