The Necessity for Mess

The Color Run, Spartan Race, Mud Runs, Tough Mudders, Muddy Buddies…

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These aren’t cheap races, but Americans are shelling out major money to participate.

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Why?

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Because we have to be clean and proper and polite and correct and germ-free all the time. Every day.

Every.damned.day.

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We sit in traffic, we sit behind desks, we sit in movies, we sit on couches. Messy races offer a chance to get dirty. Gritty. Bloody. Primal.

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My favorite race has been my hardest race: the Bataan Memorial Death March marathon. 26.2 miles through desert mountains with a ruck on my back. Blood dripping from my face, sun burning my neck, blister juice squishing through my shoes… Pain. I paid for pain.

I called my best friend crying.

It was glorious.

We need mess and discomfort to remind us that we are human and we may have a soft, squishy outside, but we have a stony, salty center. In a world of hand sanitizer, “you can’t do that!”s, and time-outs, blood and guts are more refreshing than a pumpkin spiced latte and more satisfying than a paleo-pan cake.

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Marathons, triathlons, ultras, adventure races…

Campfire hair, skinned knees, broken fingernails, torn jeans, sweat rings…

Mess is a necessary release valve, even if we have to pay for it.

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2 thoughts on “The Necessity for Mess

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