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|Author: ||just another runner girl|
|Subject: ||RE: The REAL reason why Track and Field isn't more popular...|
I've known plenty of tough runners. I saw a 15-year-old girl snap her tibia at a state meet because she had a stress fracture but didn't want to miss her last race. I have a teammate who foams at the mouth when he races. What other type of athlete pushes to the point of wetting/soiling themselves? Some marathoners push themselves so hard that they end up in the hospital with renal failure - that is pretty intense. Stupid, but intense.
The truth is, (at least for distance runners) we compete in a sport where you HAVE to feel your best at the starting line because it just gets exponentially crappier after the gun goes off. Also, a minor injury may start out minor, but after a 10k, what started out as a sore shin can turn into a broken bone. Every athlete needs to learn to recognize the signs of injury before its too late, especially distance runners. So "minor injuries" are definitely a legitimate excuse for a DNS.
As far as Jordan playing with the flu, have you ever tried racing with the flu? I did one time, and I passed out and had to go to the hospital. The difference is how hard each type of athlete has to push their body for their respective sport. Football players, basketball players, soccer players etc. are all top-end athletes, but they never come close to maxing themselves out during a game (at least not to the point that runners do). Yet for distance runners, that is what every competition is - we push our bodies to the limit. You can't run a 10k with the flu (trust me.) The sprinters are a little questionable in this category since they really aren't stressing their bodies that much, but I suspect their reluctance to race when they aren't 100% has more to do with pride than with being a pussy. They know they will not win, and they don't want to appear weak.
It is not that we are pussies. It is that we compete in a sport that demands an incredible amount of effort and puts a phenomenal amount of stress on our bodies. A 5k, 10k and marathon are completely different from a basketball game in terms of how much being sick will affect the athlete's performance/ability to still be alive afterward.
And remember, baseball players sometime sit out because of a blister/cut on their finger (or a broken pinky), and baseball is still quite popular. It all depends on how a particular injury/illness will affect your performance.
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