Since I’ve started really getting into running, and thus talking more about running, one thing that’s bugged me is the response from what I’ll refer to as the “non-running peanut gallery.”

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has encountered these folks. And I know they exist in the non-running world.

They are friends or “friends” who just don’t “get” running. And they make comments about your running. Not necessarily criticisms, not quite judgement. But definitely opinions that seem to imply you, the runner, are somehow crazy or addicted. (In a bad way, not the good way that we like to think we are.) That there is something wrong with, or at the very least, questionable about what you are doing. Or, rather, how much you are doing it.

Since this is my blog, and therefore it’s about me, I’m going to comment on it, and then (hopefully) I’ll be over it.

So I run. A lot, by some people’s standards. (But a little by others … who cares, the only standard that matters is my own.) And I race. A lot. I do these things because I enjoy them.

I don’t have kids.
I live with my parents.
I spend over 2 hours every workday commuting.

So those hours I’m not working, commuting or sleeping? I want to do something I enjoy. And I enjoy running. So that’s what I’m going to do. It makes me happy. Right now running and my job are the only things making me happy.

So why would anyone question me doing something that makes me happy?

I’m an adult. I don’t need the world to approve of my life. I only need to worry about making myself happy first, and then my loved ones, and then my boss/co-workers. In that order. (And then find a solution for world peace, right?) I don’t need my friends to approve. But at the very least, it would be nice if, aside from my running friends, they were supportive. Or happy for me. Or at the very least, not judgmental.

I know friends tease each other, and give each other grief. That’s part of “friendship,” and I didn’t earn the nickname Sarcastic Ass for nothing. (Although the older I get, the less proud I am of that nickname, so I am trying to tone it down.)

I won’t go into detail about what I think is really behind these comments. (Insecurity.) Because that’s an assumption, and maybe not a fair one, and this blog isn’t about other people. (I don’t mean that in a self-centered way, I mean that in the sense that with the exception of my Q&A posts, no one else gave me approval to talk about them in this space, so I try not to talk about other people in this blog, unless it’s harmless and/or positive.)

At the end of the day, that is why I have this blog – it’s an outlet to talk about running with people who “get” it. That’s also why I love my running groups, and why I spend so much time running with them. They are supportive of my running goals, and they “get” it.

What do you think? How do you deal with the non-running peanut gallery?