Introduction | Running Excerpt

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 what you’re thinking: “I hate running.Obviously. Everybody hates running, it’s a culmination of the three big things humans can’t stand doing: working hard, improving, and seeing themselves improve over time by working hard. It sounds odd, but it’s true, isn’t it? Deep within yourself you know it’s true, and if you don’t know it yet, this is me giving you the official heads up. Trust me, I know it well enough for the both of us.

How do I know? Because I’m the exact same way. Duh. Working hard sucks. Not only must you physically do things, but you must do them for extended periods of time. Who has the energy for that? Definitely not you, especially when you work a full-time job and put yourself through all those motions for forty-plus hours a week for a paycheck that, unless you’re self-employed, isn’t even worth it in the first place.

“Big words for some guy who doesn’t have a job,” says you, someone who has a job.

Sorry buddy, but that paycheck cannot be worth it simply because you did not earn it. Even if you feel like you earned it, the fact is you didn’t… someone else did, and they gave it to you because you function as part of their operation. The work you do might be crucial to their operation, but at the end of the day it’s their operation that’s making the money, not yours. That means they are the ones who decide where the money goes, not you. In other words, you earn their paycheck for them, and in return they give you an arbitrary and usually disproportionate amount of it.

In realizing this, the satisfaction you feel in living independently on the bankroll of somebody who already found their way through life may be quickly snuffed out by self-loathing; also, you may realize something else, something terrifying: you don’t want to make your own way through life because that involves working hard on you, and you don’t want to work hard on you because that involves going through the skull-caving process of learning who you are. Yikes, self-awareness.

As far as life goes, you have a choice to make, and there are only two options. The first: work hard for someone else; literally cheat the system of life itself for a measly portion of someone else’s paycheck to cover the needs your lifestyle demands. Don’t improve your life, improve someone else’s and collect 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, take all the scraps they’ve spared you and carry out what’s left of your own will. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

No? Sounds terrible? 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, old, smart, stupid, rich, poor, worthy, 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 putting it into 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 on 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 here, say it out loud as you read it off the page: RUN. Yes, get out there and work that hairless ape body that Uni Herself gave you! It’s the easiest way to learn how to work hard, I promise you that, and evolutionarily speaking, you’re built for it.

The way our bodies are shaped, the way our muscles are distributed, the way we automatically cool ourselves down by leaking when we get too hot? Let us face the truth: it may stink, but humans are built for hard work. Which is mighty convenient, because, as a human, one must work. Life is work for humans because humans are the managers of the planet, plain and simple. Look at the words: human, manager, hu[man]ager. Do you actually think that’s a coincidence? Come on.

What, you don’t believe me? Okay, let’s use deer as an example. I live back in the woods and there are enough deer here to feed every last starving human being 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 is 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. Plus, the forest is pretty in the springtime. So what do we do when the combined forces of the wolves, coyotes, bears, bobcats, pumas, wild dogs, ex-housecats, porcupines, beavers, wolverines, released exotic pets, the descendants of the Jungle Habitat leftovers, bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and literally every other species of backwoods 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 get out into the woods, and we hunt. Then, we feast. This is what our species has 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. 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 can’t outrun a deer, that’s, that’s… 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 humans have that separates us from Earth’s other species is godhood patience, or in running terms, endurance. Sure, any halfwit deer can effortlessly outrun us in the short term. Most things can. But after a while, that deer is going to get tired. It’s going to slow down to take a 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 fine. Throw this book down if you don’t like what it says. Feed it to a paper shredder. Carry it up a mountain, douse it in gasoline, and ritualistically burn it to ashes beneath the red glow of the blood 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 do a little running, it definitely won’t be climbing any mountains. I don’t have time for humans who refuse to climb mountains – I’m too busy up on the peak looking out at the view.

“Wait!” I can sense you holler, sweat pouring from your brow. “Fine, I want to work hard on 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 primal urge to eat that deer, by all means please keep reading. I’m out to help you improve your own 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. If you’re ready, we can start right this second.

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 pamphlet 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, I’m just going to do it in a way that doesn’t paint me as a lame-ass victim to my own life. Why? Because nobody wants to read a book, however short it may be, about a self-diagnosed victim bitching 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 shit anyway.

SO! Without further ado! Ladies, gentlemen, aliens extraterrestrials everywhere: you’re boutta learn how to run.

An excerpt from my first book, Running: How To Torture Yourself and Enjoy It |The Unvictimized Edition|. I remember writing this thing, laying in my bed in my parents’ attic, not knowing what it would lead to. The Garden is all one story, folks, 21 books and counting, and it all started here. It can all be traced back here, too, which I think is just phenomenal.

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