So who, or what is Meego?
Think of it this way…
Inside your head, you have three voices. Okay, maybe some of you have more, but this isn’t the forum for that discussion.
We’ll call the three voices: me, myself and I. Think of one voice being on one shoulder, you in the middle, and the other voice on the other shoulder. Kind of like that angel and devil thing.
“Me” is the voice you hear when you are torn on a decision, between doing what you know you probably should do and what you “want” to do. “Me” is really good with those “seemed like a good idea at the time” decisions.
Now, there are many reasons to run. Health being a primary driver. But, while “training” for an ultra may be considered healthy (to a certain degree), the actual running of an ultra isn’t “healthy.” The body just breaks down too much (at least, that’s my opinion).
So, over the past couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering “why” I run ultras. Many runners have a cause, or a reason for running. For some, it is a fundraising thing, and for others, they run in memory of a friend or family member. But me? No cause…no family member to run for…so it finally came to me.
That’s all. I guess that’s why I run ultras. Just so I can say I did it. I would have thought that my ego wasn’t any bigger than the next guy’s, but he’s not running ultras just so he can say he did.
So I simply combined the voice in my head that does crazy stuff (me) with my reason for doing them (ego)…
and thus stem stems the word “Meego”
I think, deep down, we all have a Meego. Ever run and really, really want to get a PR? Ego. Ever wanted to run a race (any distance) and know that you weren’t really trained up properly? Ego
Ever wonder why you signed up for a race in the first place?…aaahhh, now you know Meego.
He sits on your shoulder when you are signing up for races and says things like…
“You can do this…”
“No, c’mon, sign up for the long one…”
“There is NO WAY it is going to be muddy…”
“You’ve got plenty of time to train…”
“It’s like, a year away, you’ll be in great shape by then…”
“No pain, no gain…”
“What pain? I don’t remember any pain…”
and then, later, you stare at the computer screen and think “why did I ever sign up for this?” Yep. That’s Meego.
“I” is the voice that says “I don’t think we can do this.” “I” is much quieter than “me”, and typically only speaks up during the later stages of the event.
Here are some things that “I” might say…
“I don’t think we should have signed up for this distance…”
“There’s nothing wrong with a DNF…”
“Maybe you should just walk for a while…”
“Maybe you should just walk for a while, longer…”
“You could just curl up on the side of the road…”
“I’m sure others are quitting too…”
“You’ve already run farther than most people ever will…”
“You don’t want to hurt yourself…”
For some reason, “me” is much quieter later in the race than “I.” Oh, he’s still there, but it’s almost like they switched voices for a while. But, if the race is long enough, they’ll switch back and forth…or maybe they brought “friends”…
Well, “myself” is your conscious self. Myself has to carry out whatever decision is made by the group of three.
Maybe think of it like this. Me, myself and I each get one vote. So at any point in time, “myself” (aka you) get to decide which voice you are going to side with. These voices will talk some during a 5K. (remember the “dig deep vs. the “I can’t run any faster” thoughts you had?) But during a marathon or beyond, you spend a LOT of time with them. Sometimes, during an ultra, we’ll have several votes on what to do.
Several of my running friends have had Meego visit them in their homes when they were signing up for races. You probably have too. I had never really put a face with Meego, but a couple of months ago, one of my running buddies posted a picture of Stripe (of Gremlins fame) and said that this was what he pictured Meego looking like. I totally agreed with him.
So, it sort of worked out that “I” would look like “Gizmo”… so here they are…
I figured since Meego got me into most of these messes, I would make him do them with me. This fall he’s been hanging out on the back of my hydration pack when I run. That didn’t work quite like I had expected. He’s had so much fun he has been spotted helping set up races and work at aid stations…
Then my wife made him a kilt to match mine. Susan then made him his own Pumpkin Holler shirt. He even scored his own bib.
“I” thinks maybe we should have just left him in the closet. “Myself” would tend to agree. But Meego thinks otherwise…
So next time you are sitting there, wondering which race or distance you should sign up for, just listen to the little voice on your shoulder. We’ll see you out there!
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