Runners are weird.
Take 5 or 6 runners out of their running clothes and ask them to volunteer at a 5K, and what you're going to get is a half crazed group of socially awkward individuals.
And knowing this, I still gave up my morning a week ago to help run the finish line at a 5K right here in town. Ultimately my job was to write 3 digit numbers down 400 times in 35 minutes... on your mark, get set... It was fun. A British Guy and I had a good time mocking ourselves, talking about tea, and writing 400 3 digit numbers down in 35 minutes.
So. Why am I continuing this post, since we've established a level of "fun"?
Here's the thing. YES... I had a really good time. A really good time. I would totally do it again.
But the reason I had fun had pretty much NOTHING to do with the group of half crazed socially awkward runners. Sorry guys. You kind of sucked.
Here's the thing. There's a group of runners in our local Road Runners Club who volunteer ALL THE TIME. They are the bread and butter and martyrs of the club. Without them, the club would not function the way it does. No way. It just wouldn't happen. I get that. Absolutely. However, I have put in my time this year, and I have handed most of those people a bib number and T-shirt at packet pickup recently, I certainly don't expect to get treated the way I was treated upon arrival last weekend. Oh, did I say martyrs?
I arrived and introduced myself to the Guy in Charge. He was pretty nice. Name withheld to protect the Nice.
I signed in, was told we had nothing to do for a solid 15-20 minutes, so I went to say "Hi" to a friend. Name with held to protect the Cool.
I then saw after a few minutes of chit-chat that I was disrupting the usual flow of Nice and Cool, and decided the smart/polite/stupid thing to do was leave the comfort of my pal, and go join the non-running runner volunteers. I actually know two by sight from around town, and figured I speak the language RUN, I could pull this off.
I mean, HEY ~ What could happen?
Well. Apparently without my skirt/socks/pigtails, I'm COMPLETELY unrecognizable and look stupid. Because when I joined the half circle of conversation, one guy, who Isn'tcool got in my face... about 4 inches from my face... and said, "ARE YOU ONE OF US?!?!"
Never in my life have I so had the desire to say, "Nope, lost my way there for a minute....clearly I do not belong. I'll just head on out now... got shuffleboard team tryouts today..."
But is that what I did? No.
See above note about stupidity.
Instead I smiled and said, "Well, YES. I'm here to help."
Isn'tcool says, (and this is a direct quote, burned into my brain for the rest of my life) "OH. Well." awkward pause, "You're wearing a lot of pink."
I'm wearing... WTF... did he just... no... seriously?
In my head I'm thinking ~ I showered ~ I'm not a completely unfortunate looking female ~ Do I have spinach in my teeth? ~ Am I dumb looking in pink? ~ Do I clash? ~ Would this man even know if I clashed? ~ Are my headlights on? ~ Is this like wild kingdom where the pack senses an injury and cuts the injured runner out of the group to be eaten by lions? ~ Are there lions?
Because with the words, "...a lot of pink" still hanging in the air, the martyr'd volunteers, busy talking about how they are the only "ones who do anything for the club", actually moved a few feet away from me, leaving me alone, so they could talk amongst themselves. So, with that, I learned why the club is having trouble getting volunteers out to the races.
I also learned that I'm apparently uncool. Epically so.
The next time I volunteer, perhaps I'll put that in as my middle name... "g. uncool finn"... hey, whatever, it works. Oh, and if you're there, scanning the crowd for uncoolness, I'll be the one who's dressed from top to bottom, in a f*cking lot of pink.