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Saturday, January 04, 2014

Stop Running! Part 1 - Get a Life!

There I got your attention. Didn't I?

But before I go on. Please note the following:

1. I am going to give unsolicited advice. If you do not like unsolicited advice - please do not continue reading.
2. I may offend certain people. In particular, those who are single. If you are easily offended and single, please do not continue reading.
3. If you are the type who takes blog posting so seriously and think it is mainstream news and influential enough to make changes to your life, you can continue reading just remember points 1 & 2 above. But if you think blog postings and in particular this blogger's posts are crap and good for a laugh, by all means continue reading. But remember points 1 & 2 above.
4. If you consider yourself a serious runner and think that this old man who can't even run faster than your grandmother is a big fake and quake, you will most likely be insulted or offended by what I am going to write, so please do not continue reading.

You have been warned! Although me think the caveat above is not going to stop anybody from reading and getting offended but me being me and a big kaypoh, I don't care. Actually I love the attention and the increase in readership!

Ok now to the main story.

I have many running pals and I am acquainted with many runners. I will dare say that the majority of them are single. Which makes me wonder. Why? I think among my running acquaintances, there are an equal number of single guys and gals. These people, they run together, have makan together, go out before runs, after runs, pre-race, post race, travel together for races and yet..... So why are they not hooking up and still single?

I know a lot of people are going to say its a lifestyle choice. Its their lives and none of my business. Yes I agree but I already said I kaypoh. 

I think having a life partner is important. Younger folks may not see it now as they have friends who are mainly single and they can go out and party away. They have their internet, their games and so they don't feel lonely. At least not now. But when they are older and their buddies have their families and cannot go out late, cannot hangout on weekends and their siblings have their own family and move away to their own home and they are all alone with their parents or living on their own, the silence and loneliness can be terrible. It is worse on festive occasions. Nevermind the kaypoh relatives who ask you where is your girlfriend/boy friend or when is the big day,  That is a minor irritant compared to being alone at home on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve or even Valentine Day. The loneliness can be scary. I remembered a zillion years ago when I broke up with my first girl friend. After countless weekdays and week nights with a partner, to suddenly find myself alone at home on weekends and holidays with nothing to do, nobody to chat with... It was like a jail sentence. I agree nowadays it is better not like last time. Now there is cable tv, internet, gaming to keep one busy but still... And think about it. When one is older, the parents are gone and you come home daily to an empty house.........

People don't understand these or refuse to admit it. People will said they are fine with being alone. Living alone. I have a colleague who is in his late 40s and single. He is desperately looking for a partner now that both his parents are gone.  He goes home to an empty home every day. He now regrets that he did not settle down earlier when his mother was urging him to do so. I feel pity for him whenever he shares his life story with me. The Western people won't think of this being alone as a problem. I am generalising here but that is what the media is portraying. They are so use to one night stand so they can always find somebody for a night. But we are Asian and that is not our thing. At least not yet.

So I come back to my point. Why are so many runners single? Runners are very sociable people. All the runners I know, are super friendly and should have no problem getting a date with a fellow runner. In fact, there has been a few runners who have hitched up and I am pleased that I was at some of these weddings or seen the relationship develop. But there could be more but there isn't. Why?

Because I think the runners are running to much. Especially the ultra runners who I understand are mostly single. And they run day in day out. They run early in the morning, immediately after work, sleep early so that they can wake up early to run and off days? Off days are either for long long run or rest. So no time for any other things. 

The other thing is that runners are social creatures but only in group. Come to one-to-one, they freeze up. I once tried to "match make" a runner friend with a non-running lady. The lady complained that he never ask her out even though they made contact via FB. M asked him why? He said he don't know how to ask and don't know what to say. Which is pretty true of most of the guys I know. Ask them anything about running and they can rattle off the world records, the best shoes etc but ask them to ask a girl out and they go dumb.

So I like to request my running friends to maybe pause and stop running for a while. Look around and see which guy/gal you know that you find attractive, compatible and likeable. Pluck up your courage. Ask him/her out. It need not be the guy making the first move okay! Go for a dinner or maybe a movie. After that a drink. Or worse come to worse, ask him/her to join you in a short run somewhere scenic like Punggol Waterway or Bishan Park. After the run, go for a dinner at one of the nice restaurants around the place. Oh just the 2 of you. Not in a big group.

Why am I writing this? I feel its important from a social point of view for people to have a partner. I am not talking about marriage by the way. That can come later. I dabble in some social work now and then involving old folks and the recurring theme that I see is their main problem is their lack of family. No partner, no spouse, no children. These people are lonely and alone. And when they need help and companionship, nobody is there for them. Therefore to me, having a partner is like buying insurance for the future. That is as bluntly as I can put it. Forget the love at first sight thing. That is for the movie. What is important is both must feel comfortable with each other and share similar interest. Which is why I think people who runs should hook up together. Imagine going for running holidays like what me and the sidekick does. The experience is so much more wonderful because of the shared interest.

PS: the gahmen or the SDU did not pay me to write this although I don't mind if they want to pay me.

PPS: Getting into a relationship is only the start. Maintaining the relationship is the difficult part and that shall be Part 2

PPPS: If you do decide to do something about your relationship after this and it works, remember to give this matchmaker a big angpow

PPPPS: If you have despite all my prior warning read this and is now fuming mad, go ahead, fire away but please do not kick me or crash my camera if you see me at races. Blame yourself since you have been warned not to read but still did.


  1. I am not a runner, I am single, and I didn't find your post offensive. I think it is very sensible, in fact. I'm 33. :)

  2. I think a lot of runners are single because a lot of non-singles, especially daddies and mummies (especially mummies!) are too busy to run. Some people just refuse to settle down and get too busy to run. But your point is damn valid. How long can you run? Can you outrun loneliness in the long run? FYI I don't run. Teehee.