Hello Commons, here is the introduction chapter of Running: How To Torture Yourself And Enjoy It |The Unvictimized Edition|, a satirical self-help book about running that’s more about its author than anything else. Please enjoy. See the bottom of this post for more info.
Be The Deer
Running: the act of beating your body against the forces of the Universe as hard as you can for as long as you can. In other words, self-torture.
I know exactly what you’re thinking: ‘I hate running.’ Obviously. Everyone hates running, it’s a culmination of the three major things humans can’t stand doing: working hard, improving, and seeing themselves improve over time by working hard. It sounds weird, but… it’s true, isn’t it? Deep within yourself you know it’s true, and even if you don’t know it yet, I know it for you, and I’ve officially given you the heads up.
How do I know? Because I’m the exact same way, duh. Working hard sucks. Not only do you have to do things, but you have to do them for extended periods of time. Honestly, who has the energy for that? Definitely not you, especially when you work a full-time job, putting yourself through the motions for forty-plus hours a week for that paycheck that, unless you’re self-employed, isn’t even worth it.
“Big words from a guy who doesn’t have a job,” says you, a human who has a job.
Sorry buddy, but that paycheck can’t be worth it, simply because you didn’t earn it. Even if you feel like you earned it, you really didn’t… someone else did, and they gave it to you for repeatedly performing some remedial task for them. In other words, you earned their paycheck and they gave you a disproportionate amount of it for the part of their work that you did.
In realizing this, your feelings of self-sufficiency under somebody who’s already made it are quickly snuffed out by self-loathing because you also realize something terrifying: you don’t want to work hard on you, because that involves getting to know who you are. Yikes, self-awareness.
In every moment, you have a choice to make, and there are really only two options. The first: work hard for someone else; literally cheat the system of life itself for a measly portion of that human’s paycheck to cover the needs of your chosen lifestyle. Don’t improve your own life, just improve someone else’s life and get an allowance for doing it; bend over backwards, torture yourself by carrying out their will, and after you’re done doing what they tell you to do, if you have any energy left over at all, carry out your own will with the scraps they’ve spared you. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
No? Sounds terrible? Well consider yourself woke, then.
You see, even if you already chose the first option, it’s not too late to change your mind. It’s never too late to choose option two, whether you’re young or old, smart or stupid, rich or poor, worthy or undeserving, whatever. That second option is always there, dangling right above your head just waiting to be snatched – all you have to do is snatch it.
What is this mystical second option, then? To work hard for yourself, of course! Bend over backwards for you, torture yourself by working hard, just like you always did before, but do it for your own benefit, carry out your own will. Put your energy into your own life instead of someone else’s.
That’s not what you were hoping I was going to say, was it? You were hoping for some get-rich-quick scheme that hasn’t already been exploited by every other human of Earth. Nope; sorry hypothetical reader, but you must work hard. So now the problem becomes that you don’t want to work hard, which is a heckin’ big problem.
Worry not, as I have a solution for this problem too. You know what it is? A magical three-letter mouth noise that can make all your problems go away. You ready? Say it with me, say it out loud as you read it off the page: RUN. Yes, get out there and work that hairless ape body that god herself gave you! It’s the easiest way to learn how to work hard, I promise you, and evolutionarily speaking, you’re built for it.
The way our bodies are shaped, our muscles distributed, the way we automatically cool ourselves by leaking when we get hot – let’s face facts, it may suck but humans are built for hard work. And that’s mighty convenient because, as a human, one has to work. Life is work for a human because humans are the managers of this planet, plain and simple. Just look at the words: human, manager, hu(man)ager. You think that’s a coincidence? Come on.
Oh, you don’t believe me? Okay, let’s use the deer as an example. I live in the woods and there are enough deer here to feed every last starving human living on this planet. We have a ton of the hooved fiends and they have nothing better to do than eat, breed and avoid their natural predators. That’s their job and they’re so good at it that, if they go unchecked, they will happily decimate the entire forest. For sport.
Why would the decimation of the forest be bad? Because the forest is a city of plants and plants make oxygen, which is necessary for humans to human. So what do we do when the combined forces of the wolves, coyotes, bears, bobcats, mountain lions, wild dogs, wolverines, released exotic pets, the remaining descendants from Jungle Habitat and literally every other species of deciduous carnivore can’t handle the deer population? We, the managers of this planet, get our bows and arrows (or guns for those who just can’t hang with the big dogs), we go into the woods, and we hunt. Then, we feast. This is what we’ve done for hundreds of thousands of years… I think; regardless of chronological specificities, that’s what humans have done ever since the invention of the bow and arrow by some cave-dweller who probably thought the world was flat, if it even had a concept of the world at all. The method is tried and true.
“What did we do before the bow and arrow?” I can sense you asking. Well, it’s simple: we hunted with spears. “And how, pray tell, did a human ever manage to gank a deer with a spear?” Again, simple: we ran. We chased those prancing bastards down and we stuck ’em good.
“But Hunter!” I can sense you screeching, hardly able to handle the truth. “A human being can’t outrun a deer, that’s poppycock!”
Well first of all, I like your use of the word poppycock. Second of all, you’re right, and that’s just fine. We don’t have to outrun them.
The thing we humans have that separates us from other species is
godhood patience, or in running terms, endurance. Sure, a deer can effortlessly outrun us in the short term, most things can. But after a while, that deer is going to get tired, and it’s going to slow down to rest; meanwhile, we’re still trotting along, just waiting until we run up on that sloppy jalopy and BAM, the tribe eats well tonight.
Don’t you want to eat well tonight? No? Well that’s just fine. Throw this book down if you don’t like what it says. Feed it to a paper shredder. Douse it in gasoline, carry it up a mountain and ritualistically burn it to ashes underneath a full moon. In other words, be the deer. What you do doesn’t make a detached toenail of a difference to me, especially because if your candied ass is too afraid to run, it definitely won’t be climbing any mountains. And I don’t have time for humans who refuse to climb mountains – I’m way too busy looking at the view.
“Wait!” I hear you holler, sweat pouring from your brow. “Fine. I want to work hard for myself, but do I really have to run? Like, really?”
Look, there’s a method to my madness. If you like what this book is saying thus far, if you’ve allowed yourself to be captivated by the latent primal urges to eat that deer that I’ve awoken within you, then by all means keep reading. I’m out to help you improve your life, to teach you how to torture yourself for your own benefit. By the end of it, who knows? You might even learn to enjoy the torture.
After this quick aside, that is. Hi there, welcome to |The Unvictimized Edition| of Running: How To Torture Yourself And Enjoy It! In the very short time between the publishing of the first edition of this little pamphlet and now, my life has changed dramatically (from an internal perspective) and I’ve been given time to do a bit of self-reflection. That said, the rest of this book has been somewhat heavily edited in an attempt to raise the vibes, so to speak. I’m still teaching you how to run, don’t get it twisted; it’s just going to be done in a way that doesn’t paint me as a lame-ass victim to my own life. Why? Because nobody wants to read a self-appointed “victim” whining about why he thinks he’s a victim.
Plus, I’m uncensoring the fuck out of the expletives. So, like… if that bothers you, well, you know what you can do; you’re probably not ready to read this anyway.
SO! Without any further ado! Ladies, gentlemen,
aliens extraterrestrials everywhere: you’re ‘boutta learn how to run.
As I said above, Running: How To Torture Yourself And Enjoy It |The Unvictimized Edition| is a satirical self-help book about running that’s more about its author than anything else. It is also the first book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.
The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.
Running is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Running and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.
Be well Commons~