Editor’s note: This is a satirical article.
Every winter, I look out my window on snowy days and see something deeply disturbing: people running.
Yes, I’m talking about people who run outside in three inches of snow, on icy sidewalks and in -20 C weather. (You know who you are.)
Winter runners are harmful to society. While everyone else stays inside, binge watches The Crown, wallows in seasonal depression and buries themselves in Christmas cookies, runners are outside during the winter months. They make the rest of us feel lazy and inactive. Winter runners are devils in activewear disguise. Just how do they run outside in those clothes? No one’s staying warm in thin running tights, neon-coloured windbreakers and tiny black gloves.
Halifax is a particularly hard place to imagine running outside. The sidewalks are full of slopes. I’ve fell and slid down an icy sidewalk on Morris Street more times than I care to say – and I was just walking. How in the world are people running on these streets? Are they even human? Or are they robots sent by the government to make us feel so bad about ourselves we need to go shopping to assuage our shame, thereby boosting the economy and helping huge corporations? Some might call this a conspiracy, but others might just agree with me.
Another student’s perspective
Norma L. Persson is a second-year Dalhousie University student studying organic biomedical animal science (a totally real major). Persson likes to stay inside in the winter and watch Planet Earth. She says she hates seeing runners out in the snow.
“Oh yeah, they’re totally robots,” Persson says. “That, or they’re just terrible people. We need to start bullying people who run in the snow. Like, come on, they’re obviously just showing off. We need to stop them.”
Persson says the thought of winter runners has even affected her studies.
“Sometimes I’m sitting and just thinking about those people when I should be writing a biology midterm,” says Persson. “Next thing you know, it’s midnight and I’ve got no work done. I’ve just been racking my brain trying to figure out why people would do something so horrible.”
Persson says she does not enjoy physical activities. However, she understands and even supports people who run in the spring, summer and fall.
“I’ve heard exercising is good for you. So, yeah, run in the warmer months. But people who run in the winter are evil. Like, just go the gym,” Persson says.
Karen Strange is an accountant and part-time mommy blogger, as she calls herself. Strange says she loves to run during the winter months. She insists she is not a government-funded robot.
“I just can’t help it,” Strange says. “I love running, especially in the snow. Feeling your toes all freezing and wet, the air so cold you feel like you’re suffocating. It’s exhilarating! Besides, what else am I supposed to do in the winter? Stay inside like a normal person? That’s not me. I’m an active mom.”
During my interview with Strange, she said the words “active mom” 126 times. She also showed me pictures of her kids at least twice.
Strange writes about her obsession with winter running in her blog Active Mom 4 Life.
“Everyone should try running in the ice and snow,” reads one of Strange’s blog posts. “I love the feeling of angry people staring at you from their windows as you jog by. Their vicious glares make me run even faster and it really gets my heart rate up.”
I asked Strange if she ever thought of going to a gym in the winter rather than running outside. She immediately seemed offended.
“I have the right to run in any weather,” Strange says. “No one can stop me. I know there’s haters out there but screw them. I’m an active mom.”
The bottom line
I will never truly understand people like Strange. Sure, it can be difficult to go to the gym, but at least the gym is indoors. Nothing is enjoyable about going outside on a freezing day. Why would anyone do this voluntarily? Perhaps we’ll never find a good answer.
Ultimately, I believe running in the snow should be a fineable offence. At the very least, as Persson argues, we should be bullying winter runners. What they’re doing is not right. Why should the majority of society be forced to witness something that elicits so much self-hate? Join the fight by never going outside in winter.