Another gay distance runner sounds off …

Hi, friends and readers:

Are gay men prone to excel in the sport of distance running? By “distance running”, I mean 1,500 meters, 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons (26.2 miles).

I fell in love with distance running while attending University of Florida. The campus had a nice track and I could also run through Gainesville’s leafy streets without dodging traffic. I kept it up when I was in law school at FSU. I ran competitively in races sponsored by the Gulf Winds Track Club. And I still run today, here on my little island.

Running’s good for you both physically and mentally. I gives you time to think. I helps you sleep more soundly, and it gets you acquainted with your surroundings. When I traveled on business, as a lawyer, I always took a run after five PM, wherever my hotel was located. You’d be amazed at the thing you’ll see running that you’d never notice riding in a car.

Some gay men think distance runners are too “skinny”. I say, “Nonsense.” There’s nothing sexier than a wiry young man zooming around a track in running shorts and a singlet. Read Track Meat, a story I wrote for Cleis Press. It’s included in their anthology titled Hot Jocks:

I received a large number of comments in response to yesterday’s post about gay men who are distance runners. The most interesting came from a young man named Sean. Here’s what he had to say:

“I run track and cross country, too. However, unlike the guys [in your recent posts] I am out to my coach and teammates. I have to say what they [the other runners quoted in earlier posts] are saying is crazy, but I do understand where they are coming from. I came out to my team about a year ago and pretty much everyone was fine with it. Trying to keep it from people was actually making me perform horribly, since all that stress just kept building up to the point that I just couldn’t be happy. I was with my coach after a race, and I had to tell him. So I pull him away and talked to him. It was one of my best choices I made. He was able to better understand what has been bugging me, so he was able to help me through it. I expect to have one of my best seasons this year, and can’t wait to start another great season with my great team.”

How’s that for a positive outcome? Sean makes a good point: so much of distance running is mental. It requires intense concentration and self-discipline. How can an athlete focus when he’s distracted by worries about his sexuality? In most cases, I believe it’s better to let your true self be known, and let the chips fall where they may. Hell, New York just legalized gay marriage. Being gay’s a lot more accepted nowadays.

Thanks for writing to me Sean. Your words will inspire many guys who follow this blog. You’re lucky to have the coach you do. And good luck next track season.

I rose a bit later this morning. But I took my walk on the beach and I swam in the Gulf. I’m showered and shaved and I’m off to the orthopedist to have my right knee examined. Hopefully, I’ll be running again soon. I miss it.

Have a nice Friday, everyone.

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