A Copywriter’s Blog
My New Cult Ben Levy 19, July

Last week, the treadmills in my complex were either taken or broken, so I went running on the pier.

I see why people do this now.

I was never a treadmill runner before. I actually ran (more like jogged quickly) track in high school, and I prefer the sort of running that actually takes you somewhere to the sort that keeps you in one spot. But I just moved recently and haven’t worked out a mile loop in my area, so I’ve been hamster-wheeling it the last few weeks.

But I was forced to actually go outdoors last Wednesday, and stumbled again upon the cult of the runner.

Most of the street/pier was full of businessmen. But here and there I discovered people like me. Men and women in crappy clothes and earbuds pounding pavement in defiance of laziness and sloth. Each time we passed each other, a nod of the head or flip of the fingers was given in wordless salute. We were brothers and sisters, and though no two of us dressed alike, we were all identified by our pace and resolve. We weaved in and around the coffee-drinkers and briefcase-carriers, feeling superior. And in some cases, feeling short of breath as well.

Every runner I passed rejuvenated me. As long as they ran, so would I. None of us would stop, not within sight of each other. We would push on. Just till that lamppost. That jetty. That bus stop sign. Just by stepping outside, and then stepping some more in quick succession, I had joined a swift and unspoken brotherhood.

Then Friday I was back on the treadmill. Cause cults take a lot of commitment, y’know? And I didn’t want to get stuck with any membership fees. I’ll just take some time to read the pamphlets before committing to anything.

But I might show up for next Wednesday’s meeting. We’ll see how it goes.

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