People like to share their accomplishments, which are different for everyone. There are stickers for all sorts of achievements. Common stickers for running go:
- Half Marathon 13.1
- Full Marathon 26.2
- Half Iron man 70.3
- Full Iron man 140.6
Driving to work this morning, I saw two 0.0 stickers stuck on the rear windshields of my fellow commuters. Ever wonder what these stickers mean? Here are the top two reasons.
#1 Marathon runners spouses, friends and family
Some, behind the scenes, support teams of the hardcore athletes use these stickers to show that they have a dedicated runner in their lives. Running these long races requires hundreds of hours of training and for people with kids especially, this is made a whole lot easier with a supportive partner. This could be the supportive husband who wrangles the kids each morning while his wife does her two-hour run. Or maybe this is someone who isn’t a runner themselves but has kept their runner friend company by biking alongside them. This could also be a parent, with multiple track competing children, who doesn’t run themselves. You might see a 13.1, 26.2, and 0.0 on the back of this mini-van.
#2 Non-runners mocking people who actually get off their butts and exercise
The less pleasant use of the 0.0 bumper stickers are non-runners mocking people who are disciplined and train hard enough to run a long distance race. These are the same type of people who generally scoff at exercise culture, and the perceived sense of superiority emanating from the 26.2 and 13.1 stickers. Deep down these people know they are living an unhealthy lifestyle. Their insecurity over their life choices means they take other people’s pride in their achievements as a personal attack.
We have a whole culture that tries to downplay people’s accomplishments when it comes to health. Rather than recognize that discomfort they get when seeing those stickers as their conscience telling them they could do better, they attack back. It’s a sad turn of events when instead of being inspired by others to reach the heights they have, we’d rather tear them down.