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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Singin in the Rain

Last night when I was running, the sky opened up and began to pour rain, which was weird because there weren't any discernible clouds. I felt just one or two scout drops and suddenly I looked up and it started to come down in heavy sheets. I was only half way through my route, so by the time I reached home I was soaked. But I didn't mind too much; running in inclement weather alwasy makes me feel like a real Runner (that's right, capital R, grrrrr).

It just makes me feel like I'm really an athlete, like the kind they make movies about where the star is running and there's an inspirational soundtrack and he or she has that look of determination and you just know they're going to win in the end (since sports movies are always about winning, and sometimes about not winning, but feeling good about yourself). But despite the grit-your-teeth-running-through-the-rain-or-in-the-early-morning-hours, you don't see too many running movies. In fact, the most memorable running moment in a movie for me is when Rocky finally runs up the steps to Philadelphia's Library and he's so happy that he made it, and he's jogging around with that idiot smile on his face with his arms raised in triumph. That's a good running moment -- stairs! Jesus, they're hard, and he deserves snaps -- but that's a boxing movie, not a running movie.

Maybe there aren't many running movies because running isn't all that exciting. There's not any conflict (unless you dig deep and discuss the internal struggle), there's no "big" game or fight to highlight in the end, and there isn't a team to pull together (even in boxing movies, there's a coach and a trainer both of whom kind of make up a team with the actual boxer). Maybe running should be re-vamped to get a glossier image, one that people could make movies about. We could make running a contact sport -- runners can wear little belts with plastic flags and other runners can strip them of their flags, or perhaps we can go for full-out tackling. You could form teams in select cities and people could pay money to gather in stadiums to watch them run and tackle one another, but for excitment purposes maybe there should be a ball; you know, something they have to get across a finish line.

Oh dammit, that's football. No wonder there's so many movies about that sport: it's got some good elements!

Sorry running, you'll just have to be happy with the Boston and New York City marathons, and I guess we can give you a large portion of the summer Olympics. But Hollywood doesn't want you.

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