The philosopher has often told us that we are extraordinary. That he is glad to know us, that we should revel in and celebrate our extraordinariness. I’ve always thought that was bullshit. But lately, I’m less sure. 

The fit crew has people who run marathons, swim the English Channel, complete ironman triathlons. A few compete for podium places, although most focus on completion rather than competition. They also have lives to lead. Full time jobs, some run companies or small businesses, some are studying for qualifications or new careers (maybe at the same time as their full time jobs). There are partners, children, elderly parents, grandchildren and dogs to be taken care of. Sure, some have jobs they hate or problems in their personal lives, but that is the same across all spheres of life. Work colleagues, school friends, neighbours. Don’t we all know people with gaps in parts of their lives? 

Some of my friends say they have no time for social lives, no time for hobbies, no time for themselves, no time for anything other than work and family. But the fit crew has people who have jobs and families and training plans that run to 5 or 6 days a week. How can they find time to run twice in the same day, do 6 hour bike rides, hike distant munros, travel to lochs for swims before 6am?

I remember some advertising for running shoes (although I don’t remember the brand). The claim was that obsession is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated. I know that I’ve been accused of obsession, and I’m at the back of the pack in terms of training commitment, as well as in speed and achievement. 

Maybe the people in this group are extraordinary after all.