Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Lonliness of the Distance Runner.

Here is a little secret, I am single and always have been single. When I finally confirmed every one's suspicions and openly said I was gay I thought that I would instantly meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, and off we would run into the sunset. It turns out that the fairytale has not happened to this fairy.

I must admit, I am a good catch. I am focused and driven, I have a good career that is stable in these 'tough economic times', I am up to date on current events, I am well educated, I am fit and attractive, I don't use drugs or alcohol to excess, I have a normally 'sunny' disposition, I am an elite athlete and I am honest. If I sound arrogant and full of myself please take heart. As a gay kid who grew up in a very conservative town and faced bullying it has taken me a long time to believe in myself and have confidence in the qualities I have developed as a man. Achieving my goals in running has been the difference in my life to enable me to believe in myself and to know that if I want something I can get it with hard work, well almost anything. Herein lies the issue with my solitude. The harder I work on the track, the more workouts I complete and the more consistent I am with my training, the more success I have had running. The more I seek a partner, go on dates or get set up by people the less success I have with love. It has often been said to me that if I just go with the flow and let things happen I will meet someone when I least expect it. I have also been told that I need to get out there, take risks and play the town. If one dates enough guys they are bound to find the right one. How to reconcile these two strategies for finding a mate?

The biggest issue for me in finding the love of my life may just be that I have already found it. As my wise massage therapist once said,
"running is your boyfriend."
I have found the qualities in running that I have yet to find in an available man, though desire in a potential mate.

1. Honesty: Running does not lie. If you run a 70 instead of a 68 over 400 meters you are too slow. If you go out too hard in a race and try and convince yourself that things will be fine you will crash and burn. Men lie, most gay men I have met are unable to relate even their most basic feelings without fudging the truth.
2. Hard Work: There is no doubt that if you do not work hard as a runner you will not succeed. Hard work is rewarded with improvement.
3. Passion: The elite runners I know all have a passion for running that is truly inspiring. Every work out I attend I am encouraged by the collective passion for this sport within the ranks of VFAC. Apathy sucks! I need someone who has at least some sort of passion.
4. Attractive: Watch a well trained runner doing a track workout on a hot summer day. Imagine the lean sinewy muscles, long elegant stride, light touch off the ground, effortless as if dancing across a Mondo stage.
5. Intelligence: Running requires an intelligent mind to contain and remember many workouts, splits and personal bests. As an aside, most of the runners I trained with in university were brilliant in their respective fields of study whether engineering, law, medicine, etc.
6. FUN! Running is the most fun thing ever. A man should be just as fun and even more fun if he knows how to play the right games!

These are some of the core attributes that I find in running that I cannot find in a man. Running has always been there for me when I have needed to get something off my chest, when I have a bad day at work, if I need time alone. I sort through my problems when I run, I mourn the loss of loved ones, reflect on the happy times I have had with friends and reconnect with me. Running is a shoulder for me to cry on, a comfort in the cold to warm my heart when I am sad. I am who I am when I run, I am Jay. It does not matter what I wear, what my voice sounds like, how big my muscles are. The only thing that matters is me, doing what I love.

But running does not keep my bed warm at night, does not kiss me goodnight, does not make me dinner and cannot go to the ballet with me. I need a man, a love, to make me whole. I need a love to be the shoulder I cry on. I need a love to run with and share my passion. I need a love who returns my love.
This is a lot to ask, but as I believed I would run sub 31, I know one day love will happen. I will be at the start line ready.

Happy Training!

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention that you have the best clavicles in town. You got it, flaunt it!