The Oatmeal Nails Running Culture With Humor and Pathos

The Oatmeal on Distance Running

The Oatmeal on Distance Running

My series ‘The Monday Mile’ has detailed interesting health and fitness tips and my own personal experiences and feelings. I filter things I discover through th elens of my own personal experience with significant weight loss and fitness routines, and trends and truisms that have come and gone through the years.

Over at The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman creates what he calls ‘badly drawn comics’ … but more important is the stories he tells through the comics. Until a few weeks ago my favorite was the story of his house burning down when he was a kid, because it is touching, funny and poignant. In it he sums up what he does:

“I paint portraits of fiction
Sometimes to cope
Sometimes to escape
and Sometimes just because
it makes me happier
to constantly think about a bunch of
crazy made-up shit.”

But then he published one that really hit home – it is about distance running. As with many comics at The Oatmeal, it isn’t just about running – it is about life. And it is funny and nonsensical and poignant all at once.

Like many ‘non high school track’ runners, his running was a way to deal with having been a fat kid – to deal with both physically and emotionally. That is something I can certainly relate to, as someone who graduated college at 375 lbs! He categorizes his former self as ‘the blerch’ – and interestingly also uses the term to describe the de-motivational spirit that tries to get him to not run, to eat poorly, to just quit already.

He talks about running to find peace, to think, to contemplate and to find ‘the void’. My family can certainly speak to the inner bliss I find from a grueling run. What seems like torture to many is joy to the distance runner. And … it keeps us from returning to the Blerch.

Head to The Oatmeal for the entire 6 chapter experience … it is worth it!

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you are shopping on Amazon anyway, buying from our links gives Gear Diary a small commission.

About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!