Running Backwards

Running Backwards: Extreme sport, horrible disorder, or poor escape plan?

There is a new craze sweeping the nation. Sweeping it in the wrong direction.

Everywhere you look you will see someone running backwards. Some people are quite graceful at putting one foot behind the other. Regretfully, most people are not. Whether it is running back-long into parked cars or getting tangled up in their own feet, there seems to be a plethora of people piling up in painful piles. All thanks to this self-destructive new past time. But just what is running backwards? Despite its popularity, no one is sure what the activity was actually started for. There are currently three theories to explain the origin of this new fad. Keep in mind, however, that none of these explanations have been scientifically, socially, of historically verified.

The first theory is by far the most widely accepted. Running Backwards is a new type of extreme sport. Kids these days are always trying to find new and ever more crazy ways of hurting themselves in order to look cool. It turns out, the most innovative solutions do not have to involve more and more expensive equipment and special places to practice. All that is required to invent a new extreme sport is a pair of functioning legs and a misguided sense of direction. However, their efforts are in vain. No matter how good they become at navigating around in the wrong direction, their ultimate goal can never be achieved by this particular activity. Nobody who is running backwards can ever look cool.

The second theory is far more depressing. In our modern society of acute hypochondria, everyone is always claiming to have one affliction or another. It is the theory of many doctors, and the pharmaceutical companies who sponsor them, that Running Backwards is the physical manifestation of some horrible disorder. Alas, none of the questionable medical professionals who support this way of thinking can agree on exactly what type of disorder it is. From the psychological perspective, it is the result of terrible childhood trauma. From the medical perspective, Running Backwards stems from a problem with the inner ear, which throws off the afflicted person’s sense of direction. From the new-age, holistic, touchy-feely perspective, Running Backwards can be solved simply by doing Yoga in their approved studios and drinking vitamin infused smoothies. Local drug stores are becoming inundated with supposed cures for Running Backwards. These range from the aforementioned smoothies, to pills filled with chemicals that took years to develop and only hours to test, to over-the-counter, massively advertised concoctions with catchy names like Five-Hour Forward.  Regardless of medicinal promises, the disorder theory doesn’t carry much weight when people run backwards into their respective doctor’s offices, and no matter what goes on inside, they exit backwards as well.

The final theory to explain Running Backwards is less of an honest attempt to explain a new phenomenon, and more a review of social attitudes. Everyone says people are becoming more and more lazy as the years go on. In their minds, Running Backwards is a demonstration of this laziness. Running Backwards is not an extreme sport of a horrible disorder. It is the world’s most half-assed escape plan. What requires less thought than thinking, “If I need to leave, I will go out the way I came in…Exactly the way I came in.” People who choose this method of escape cannot even be bothered to change directions. That would simply be too much work. Of course, there are problems with this theory as well. If a person is too lazy to turn around when they are leaving, chances are they are too lazy to go anywhere in the first place.

Perhaps we will never know why so many people have taken to the streets in the wrong direction. There is, however, a silver lining to this. Running backwards can be bad, but at least people are not making a habit of driving backwards. At least, not yet.