Beware the Specialists. Sometimes.

On the eve of my husband's first foot race, I confessed a long-held bias: I dislike runners.

The snooty kind, you know. The ones heading up your local shoe shop, pushing the vibrams and chewing the chia seeds.

"Dude," I want to say, "I hit people in the head. You are not better than me because you have a 26.2 sticker on the rear of your minivan."

Of course, all bias is born of insecurity. I can't run--or, I should say, can't bring myself to do it. Can't do tedium. Can't (attempt) to run a mile. I could tell myself I'd win a thousand dollars or save my child's life if I just jog to this point, but no amount of psychological coaching can get me around the block.

And yet the runners' superiority bothers me for reasons other than my own failings. It's the exclusivity of their club: they run. That's their main thing. Whereas I like sampling a bunch of sports, which you can call fear of commitment or, preferably, cross-training.

We need specialists. We need doctors to study their anatomy books and answer our questions accurately. Plumbers to devote a great number of their brain cells to understanding our toilets. And yet if all they talk about is toilets, well, a dull man they make.

Our pediatric endocrinologist, who attends to the intricacies of our son's type 1 diabetes, spent the final ten minutes of our recent appointment telling us about Vikings. Ivar The Boneless, to be precise. My 9-year-old, in turn, shared a fact he had just read in a book regarding the impressive size of Viking excrement (8" x 2", to be precise).

I really like that we talk about Viking poop. The doc is set to retire in April, but doggone it if I won't let him.

I like people who aren't set in their one way, who are open to learning. And yet I am about to specialize.

Three hundred and fifty dollars worth of books arrived today to prepare me for the exam for a personal training certification. I will polish up and add to what I know in order to grow and learn and continue helping others on their health journey.

Also today I directed a play. I've got a degree in theatre.

And I gave three haircuts. No formal training there, but I get the job done.

I hope to never settle.


  1. My car has a 13.1 sticker on it. So, I'm only half as snooty. :-)

  2. Absolutely, Todd. Admitting it is the first step.


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