"The integration of the organism is most complete when the energy of each cell is optimal." - Ray Peat, PhD
According to The Wall Street Journal, we are the slowest generation. This claim is based on a supposed lack of competitive nature among our budding children.
August of 2012, I traveled to NYC to meet my best girlfriends to race in the upmost talked about run, the Color Run. Yes, we danced around New York a bit, skipped from shop to shop, eatery to eatery, with a permanent, garnished cocktail in our hand. But what were we really there for? To run the Color Run.
The Color Run is perhaps the fastest growing event in the country and has brilliantly claimed the motto, "the happiest 5k on the planet." I get it, it attempts a Mardi Gras-like parade of runners for all who wish to participate. It brings you back to your care-free, youthful existence where getting paint sloshed in your face was a day for the books. And also allowed. But as a now hobby runner and previous member of the LSU track team, you can understand my bitter concern when I crossed the finished line of the much anticipated NYC athletic event, covered head to toe in rainbow dust, and didn't see a clock. Do I just have too much color in my eyes and can't see? This race wasn't timed? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I proceeded to breathlessly (aggressively) question an official, as I was certain I must have just missed it. His gleeful response made me quiver. "No, sweetie," he said. "There's no time or place at the Color Run, everyone is equal here! This is just for fun!!" You must be joking. So I look like a color dusted sweaty fairy for nothing? Kiss my foot.
As I stood aimlessly after the race, blowing purple snot from my nose, waiting for my friends to finish, I watched the other 212835346 runners cross the finish line. However, they weren't running. They weren't even attempting to run. Instead, they were holding hands, skipping, spraying each other jovially with color, and some even kissing. Come on. As I gazed in awe, I slowly realized that I was out of my league here. I was the odd man out, it was me, not the other "runners." You know, the ones enjoying themselves?
Statistics show that competitiveness can boost moral, confidence and health. So why is there a sudden lack of will power? The most talked about running event in the country and no time-clock or results? Give me a break. Yes, my girlfriends and I had a glorious time dancing in a rainbow sea of thick, grimy color, once I was able to fully overcome the shock of a timeless race. But is this just the beginning? Is this a sign that fun and simply finishing outweighs that good ole American competitive drive? God help us all.
Numerous variations of The Color Run are popping up all over the country, Neon Splash Dash, Color Me Rad…all with the same concept, it's a race, that's not timed, that involves zero competitive energy. So what's drawing in the millions? Color Madness. Is this concept about to enter overdone waters? Ryan Lamppa, spokesman for Runners USA, observes that there are larger and alarming implications of the declining competitiveness of younger athletes. Well, folks, please don't kill me, but I'm about to turn this into a nutrition article.
Americans today are more overweight, obese, diabetic, and heart disease enthralled (according to the heartfoundation.org, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans today) than we ever have been. I don't see much room for competitiveness, what about you? And if we (Americans) are none of the above, then we're desperately attempting the next craved juicing regimen, diet or food fad, all the while slamming our bodies into starvation mode. Overweight, starving and/or diabetic do not competitive make.
According to Ray Peat, PhD, what we put into our mouths on a daily basis, i.e. nutrition, has a direct effect on our mind and body. Energy production can only be created optimally with a proper diet utilized with such energy promoting foods as tropical fruits, good source protein and calcium, vitamin E, and root vegetables... otherwise there is a lack there of. A lack of energy over an extended period of time? I can see how competitiveness could ultimately vanish for good.
So, maybe it's not the Color Run's fault. Maybe, just maybe, their professional minds are simply trying to meet the desires of the new masses of our "slow generation." Maybe creating the happiest 5k on the planet, where everyone is created equal, is what meets the demands of our society now. I tell you what, you continue to drown each other with a fraud form of paint. The next racing event I partake in will be timed.