Thursday, June 7, 2012

The return of Do Life

The last time I wrote about Do Life, I was encouraging some of my students to check out Ben Davis and his video.  These days, I'm not so sure.

Photos by Suze

I went to the Philly 5k tonight because Suze was going, but the truth is I've lost a lot of interest in Ben Davis and his Do Life Movement.

Ben's achievement still stands: losing over 120 lbs. through running and racing, while overcoming a deep depression, is certainly laudable.  It was this story that galvanized a fanbase and began the Do Life Movement.  While I stress that Ben is a great guy, my issue is that he seems content to milk this one achievement for all it is worth.  He spent ages in college and then immediately thereafter boarded the gravy train, never learning the discipline and responsibility one acquires with a real job.  What Ben did is certainly inspiring, but nothing he is currently doing is inspiring.  Grandly announcing new plans, then failing to follow through, charging followers money for poorly thought-out challenges, gaining nearly 40 lbs. back while writing a book on weight-loss...  Most will cut him a break and say he is only human, but I say that if you want the job of fitness role model and source of inspiration for thousands, and earn money from it, you need to be held to a higher set of standards.  Frankly, and I know how harsh this sounds, but if I was as bad at my job as he is at his, I would have been fired long ago.

The last straw came a month ago when he decided to run the Lincoln Marathon.  The day before.  After having blown off training all spring.  Sorry, but nothing about a 6 hour marathon on no training is inspiring.  In my opinion, the marathon should be a celebration of months of hard work, not a decision born of peer-pressure the day before.  I've been told I tend to put the marathon on a pedestal, but so be it.

The 5k, incidentally, was certainly enjoyable.  We started at Eakins Oval, near the art museum, ran out and back along the Kelly Drive, and finished up the museum steps as per tradition.  It was a gorgeous evening, only my second time running since the Sugarloaf Marathon nearly three weeks ago, and I felt renewed doing circuits up and down the steps, watching the skyline rise and fall in a rhythmic procession of hearbeats and breaths, doing life, being my own inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, you've expressed exactly my feelings which I had for the last few months. One would like to scream "get your act together"...


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