Recently, a training run provided some thought-provoking questions as my run took me past a local golf course. I’ve run this exact route hundreds of times over the years, but during this particular jaunt, it occurred to me how empty the parking lot seemed. At first, I wondered why a beautiful Saturday morning during the summer wouldn’t be their busiest time. Then suddenly I thought, “Yikes. Maybe this is their busiest time?” I was only about two miles into a ten-mile run, so for the next eight miles my mind twisted and turned over this question.
It’s been said that you never forget your first time. I certainly remember mine. It’s as if every part, down to the tiniest detail, is permanently engrained in my memory, like an indelible mark that cannot be washed away. All I have to do is close my eyes, and I’m back there, back in that instance when what seemed like an eternity of waiting finally ended. It almost seemed like a dream. “Is this really happening? Am I actually, finally going to do this?” A light bead of sweat began to form at the small of my back, the way it always does when the adrenaline begins to course through my veins.
n the past five years, we’ve seen OCR rise from the relative depths of obscurity to being featured on an upcoming primetime television series. Just like the UFC went from sponsors such as Mickey’s malt liquor and the Condom Depot to the likes of Bud Light and Reebok, most of the major OCR brands are now enjoying premium sponsorships and major media contracts.
The American psychologist Abraham Maslow famously wrote about what he called the Hierarchy of Human Needs in 1943, which explained the path that human motivation travels. The most basic needs are of course physiological – think “water,” “food,” “air” – but you know what else makes an appearance in the hierarchy? Esteem, which includes self-esteem. Translation: we need this sort of affirmation in our lives.
Do you remember that girl who sat two seats in front of you during your Intro to Economics class during your sophomore year? You know, that awful 8:00am class that you barely passed because you happened to ditch on the day the professor basically gave out all of the answers for the upcoming final.
I struggle to understand the backlash that the Big Brands tend to receive. Don’t get me wrong…I’d certainly prefer to pay a lot less for registration, and if some brand started giving out a free pair of shoes, two hydration packs, and a Rolex to every finisher, then I’d bleed whatever color they’re sporting.
When you boil it down, what we’re discussing is a matter of semantics. Is it a sport? Yes, it is. At least…it is in the most common understanding of the word. Let me elaborate…