(Ashville, NC) As we all know and are constantly reminded of, exercise is a great way to boost endorphins and maintain both mental and physical strength. For many, exercise becomes a way of life and that’s honestly so great, we’re definitely not judging you for it in any way, shape, or form. Now, to get more specific about exercise for this piece, we wanted to interview someone from the local area that regularly exercises to give us their tips. We did some scouting and decided to sit down with Brendan Hansen, who jogs every night after work. However, we didn’t get very far into the interview before we realized he has a much more interesting obsession. Here’s the story.
When we first sat down with Brendan, we found him to be a pretty average dude. He works at a financial emporium, he drives a nice car, he jogs every night to stay fit, and he hasn’t murdered anyone yet, so let’s just he’s done okay for himself. Right off the bad we realized he must run a lot, because he decided to wear one of his 5k t-shirts to the interview. We asked him about it and this is what he had to say. “Well, as a kid, people used to spread rumors at school that I didn’t know how to run, so I started wearing these shirts so that people wouldn’t have any doubt.”
“Doubt that you could run, you mean?” we asked.”
“Yeah,” Hansen said, sounding choked up. “Do you have any idea what that’s like? Not that I couldn’t run, not that I had some sort of disability, but just that I didn’t know how to run. Do you know how specific of an insult that is? It ate me up inside, so I started training more, but the rumor still spread. It didn’t end until I ran my first 5k. I would wear my shirt to school and people had to admit I had run before. Unfortunately, I only had one shirt for awhile, so I ended up doing a lot of laundry. At least, until I could sign up for more races.”
Our talk quickly disintegrated from there, as he began to treat the interview like a therapy session, detailing his history of being bullied and then bullying others. It was actually pretty grating near the end, but as a professional, I kept my composure. I tried to ask further questions, such as ‘How many 5Ks have you run?’ ‘Do people still tease you about this?’ and ‘Have you seen a mental health professional?’ But by that time, he had cried himself into a nap on my couch and I didn’t think it would be nice to disturb him.
In the end, he finally left a couple of hours later, immediately resuming his jog upon hitting the sidewalk. Jog away the sadness, strange man. And as always, dear readers, worship the moon and fear the void.
This was written by Nathan Ellwood, who knows that if Brendan just had more void in his life, he would be fine. Follow him @NPEllwood.