I haven’t done a Reviewsday Tuesday in so long that probably most of you don’t remember what it is. It’s what it sounds like – on Tuesday I review a thing. Normally a book, because it’s me we’re talking about. Not every Tuesday (we all know my track record with regular posts) but sometimes it does happen.
So without any further ado, let me introduce to you one of the more recent additions to my book collection: The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances
This book is the print version of one of my favourite webcomics by Matthew Inman (aka ‘The Oatmeal’). It introduces us to a demonic character known as The Blerch:
To quote The Oatmeal:
The Blerch is a fat little cherub who follows me when I run
He is a wretched, lazy beast.
He tells me to slow down, to walk, to quit.
“Blerch” is the sound food makes when it is squeezed from a tube.
“Blerch” is the shape of my tummy after a huge meal.
If I am sedentary at a time when I have zero excuse for being sedentary
I call this “blerching.”
The Blerch represents all forms of gluttony, apathy, and indifference that plague my life.
I think we can all relate to this feeling. The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances is a comic that resonates because it puts into words the hilariously painful reasons why I and countless others have spent so much of our lives on the run. Given my recent injury history it also is about why my rage at having a useless foot was about so much more than a stress fracture and the inconvenience of a cast. Because The Blerch feeds on all the stresses life throws your way, whatever their form. For example:
I can still do low-impact exercise while injured. I should go to the gym.
School has me so busy, when am I going to have time to shop for and cook some decent food?!
I don’t know how to handle my stress about job prospects and student debt.
But the important thing to take away from all of this is the following (to quote the Oatmeal again):
The Blerch, however, can be outrun.
He CAN be silenced.
I keep my print version of this comic easily accessible in my room. Because when things get tough, it’s good to have a reminder that they can be overcome. It’s been becoming easier to remember as my recovery has progressed, but like anyone, I sometimes need a reminder.
So wherever you are and whatever your own Blerch is telling you, don’t forget it can be beaten.
And while you’re at it, why don’t you meander over to The Oatmeal’s website to look at the many excellent things he’s written and drawn – he deserves more than a little love for the excellent content he creates. Plus you can read all about the Blerch yourself for free! Doesn’t get much better than that.