beth baker

WARNING: The following post includes snark, punching and a mile of sass. 

Am I the only one who sat on the couch, circa 1984, watched the #BigEvent and thought, “One day, I want to do that. I want to be the best. When I grow up, I want to win the gold medal in couch sitting and drinking Tab. Maybe, if I work really hard, I can get the silver in watching MTV.”

should mention that I was not an active kid. Music television filled me up with dreams of being a rock star, and there went my goals of doing anything athletic. 


Life is funny. I am now a professional runner, and I still wake up each morning and just giggle and snort about how lucky I am. 

When I did start running in my late 20's, I kept it like a little secret. I worried that I wouldn't be cool anymore (I was never cool). I was worried that people would see me fail at something...again. And I was worried that people would not be supportive of me, which I now realize is very silly. But, I have heard so many un-helpful phrases when I tell people that I run that it is now funny to me. As a new runner, how do you get past them? How do you wave the people off who say, "you can't do it", put your fingers in your ears when they say, "why do you do that to yourself?" Or my favorite one, "is someone chasing you?" I have heard a litany of people who say, "isn't running bad for you?"  What do you say to people when they say something non-supportive about your running badassness? 

It’s important to remember two things. When people dash your accomplishments by vomiting all over your awesomeness, they are usually the ones who are insecure little bunnies. People usually project their own insecurities about something new or different on to someone else who is kicking ass (you). So, take that into account before punching them in the face (please don't do that). A little compassion goes a long way. That being said, this second thing helps a ton: Don’t tell people who aren’t supportive. This goes for ANYTHING new you are doing. If you really want to do it, tell people who are your cheerleaders.


So without further ado, here are some tried and tested comebacks for those people who are not on your side.

CAUTION: These may get snarky! You can say them with your inside voice or yelling voice. I might suggest inside voice. Trust me. 

  1. “Isn't running bad on your knees?” (comeback with sarcasm): I heard sitting on your ass makes you lose weight, reach your goals, and get healthy.
  2. “I hate running” (comeback with honesty): I hated running when I started too. Just like anything good in life, it just takes a bit for your body and mind to get used to it.
  3. “You run every day, don’t you think you’re obsessed?” (comeback with heart): It makes me happy and I like to do things every day that make me happy, because I deserve it.
  4. “Does your doctor know your running?” This was actually said to me when I was a pregnant. (comeback with snark): Yes. Are you a doctor?
  5. “All you talk about is running. Do you do talk about anything else?” (comeback): I’m sorry…are you still talking?

I think you are a bad-ass, and I hope you do too. 



jacquelyn scofield