Thursday, December 13, 2012

No gifts part 2: charlatans unwelcome

Overall I don't have a strong sense of entitlement.  Presenting myself as something more than I am, or asking for something that I don't feel I truly deserve are things that make me feel disgusting, and unsurprisingly I find them difficult to do.  However, I do have a fascination with minimally accomplished, shameless, narcissistic, handout-seeking self promoters.  I admire their innate ability to do the things I find so difficult, and have a grudging respect for the number of people they're able to hoodwink and the places in life they are often able to take themselves.  Nevertheless, I do feel a basic gratification when a charlatan, identified for exactly what they are, gets the door slammed right in their face.  Even if that charlatan is me.  Let's proceed to the anecdote. 

A few weeks ago the great BSK sent out an e-mail to our yogging team with a link to apply for free complimentary elite entry to the Carlsbad HM or Marathon.  I did a quick scan of the elite standards and saw that they demanded a sub 1:12 HM or sub 2:30 Marathon within the last two years at a bonafide organized, timed, competitive yog (OTCY).  I have not yogged these times.  I have not yogged all that closely to those standards that any reasonable person would be tempted to make an exception.  I sent out a flippant reply-all e-mail to the team asking if lying was acceptable on the application and thought no more of it.  Then I saw Mr. BSK at a track workout and he encouraged me to ignore the standards and apply anyway.  Fluff up my accomplishments.  "Tell them who you are!"  Ok.  Sure.  That'll happen. 

A few days later I found myself chatting online with the Suffer Seeker, sarcastically talking about applying as an elite, admitting how disgusting that would make me feel, and bemoaning the fact that an OTCY in my back yard that I'd like to do is now so unappealing because of the near triple digit price tag that I'd have to pay just to compete along one of my regular yogging routes.  I surmised that as a relative front of the packer, I take up a minimal amount of resources, and wisted away for a reduced entry fee, perhaps $40, that would allow me to take part without being gouged.  The Suffer Seeker offered up an idea.  How about he spice up my elite application and submit it on my behalf, and I pay him the $40 when it was accepted.  Interesting.  A loophole around my conscience!  I need more of these.  I accepted the terms of the Suffer Seeker's offer, provided him some personal information and accurate OTCY times across varying distances, and he informed me that the application had been sent, with his overwhelming confidence that I would be granted a free yog.  The next day I received the following e-mail from the OTCY co-ordinator:

Hello Yogger,
Thank you so much for your interest in running at our 2013 Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon. Unfortunately your PR does not qualify for a complimentary race entry, even though it is a very impressive and respectable time! At this time, our half marathon is sold out but there are still a couple options for obtaining an entry:
· Partner with one of our official charities to obtain a spot- click HERE To learn more
· Obtain a bib transfer from a participant who is unable to run- learn about our transfer policy HERE.
· Our full marathon is still open for registration if you are interested in running a longer race.
Thanks again for your interest, and congrats on the new coaching responsibilities! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Take care,
I read the e-mail and was immediately filled with joy and warmth that radiated throughout my body.  Justice served!  Charlatanism defeated!  Sleazeball with loose moral underpinnings denied at the outer gates! I needed to thank this woman and pay my respects.  Not that easy to do without sounding bitter, so I took a moment to think and came up with this reply:
Thanks for the quick response XXX! You are absolutely correct in that my times are in no way worthy of a complimentary entry, and I commend your decision to keep a handout seeking charlatan such as myself out of the elite field. I've always enjoyed your race and I'm sure you'll put on another great event this year!
And she in response to that:
Thank you for one of the best responses I have yet received, and please don’t refer to yourself as a “charlatan”! Your time may not qualify, but your speed and endurance are still extremely admirable. You are surely no fraud.
Aww.  What a sweetheart.  But.  Let's call a spade a spade here.  I am the Yogging Charlatan. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Less Yoga, More Yog

So I tell the child, but she defies me.  Here she is practicing her craft with cousin Arianna, who is one month older than her.  Aside from the hair and melanin levels, I'm convinced they actually look quite alike.  I'm also convinced that if we could all find a partner and play in similar fashion to these two for just 10 minutes a day, all of the hostility in the world would cease and we'd all maintain a continous, cheesy, giggling euphoria right to our death beds.