“We’re doing a mud run,” says a work colleague. “We were going to invite you but we know you’re anti exercise.”
I fish-gulped a bit before protesting that, far from it, I actually enjoy exercise, I just can;t stand the tedium of doing exercise purely for its own sake, of spending time in a gym running or cycling etc and going nowhere in a sterile environment surrounded by the kind of people that make me think Tyler Durden had a point… Anyway, I defiantly expressed interest in joining said colleagues on said run of mud.
They sent me a link and, when I clicked through to sign up, I was told that the price was only £49.99
Dude, wait, what?
Yes, the organisers of the event wanted me to stump up dozens of pounds in actual sterling in order to be given the privilege of running through five miles of countryside with occasional obstacles, ditches or potentially an electrocution or two.
Now, I’m not averse to running or walking cross country over stupid distances. I’ve done this before several times, but that’s always been for charity. I’m not saying the aforementioned mud run isn’t charitable (I haven’t bothered to look it up) but it seems to me to get the motivation completely ass-backward.
Being sponsored to do something gruelling or challenging is great, it pushes the person doing it and gives them both a strong motivator (“Save The Kittens!”) and an extra sense of accomplishment afterwards because, quite often, one can raise more in sponsorship than they alone could afford. Whereas paying to take part? Couldn’t I just give the money to charity and not do the horrible thing?
Yet I’m quite happy to spend money on opportunities and events that, on paper, are just as physically demanding, as gruelling, as painful as any mud run. But why do I do those and not the other? I guess it’s largely about context. I mean, if I were in a D/s relationship and the other person signed me up for aforementioned mud run (and maybe booked themselves a spectator slot because, oh yes, such things can be arranged) then that’s a different matter entirely…
People are weird.