Thursday, October 22, 2009

There are some place you just DON'T listen to your iPod!

Recently, I read a blog post on Runner's World called It's Not About the iPod. It talked about a woman who got a DQ at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon because she was listening to her iPod, even though she was aware of it being against the official rules. This piqued my interest not because I like my iPod, but because much of the conversation centered around following rules...or not. Mark Remy, the author, asks

I mean, is it just me, guys? Am I the only one who finds this creeping disrespect for rules, this sort of "Up Yours, I'll Do What I Want," "Me First" attitude just a little alarming?

Or should I crank up some Jay Z and just... tune it all out?

Now yesterday, I mentioned I've been told I'm like Angela from the Office. I have to admit that its not only because I like cats. I too like to follow the rules. I grew up in Japan. Enough said.
And when I moved to America a few years ago, I too, like Mark Remy, found the disrespecting of rules here quite... different. Let's just say it was a pretty huge culture shock. I mean.... people wanted to fight the rules about everything... even small petty things like the color of the T-shirt they were assigned to in a group activity. (really? Is your free t-shirt so important to you that you need to go complain to the supervisor about it...?)

I'm digressing a little here, but you get my drift. Last night, I mentioned that I was going to the ballet. The ballet was amazing, and I truly enjoyed the show. But I wouldn't be writing this post had a not seen this one particular thing.

A guy (most likely a college student) wearing his headphones and listening to his iPod/iPhone through the performance.

WTF...??? Seriously? Seriously? You go all the way to see a ballet, and you listen to your iPod? While these people on stage have worked thier butts off to perfect the art to deliver a feeling of magic, a feeling of spectacle? The precise dance, the impecable Tchaikovsky music, the dedication to the art.... it all meant nothing compared to the Jay-Z or Linkin Park or Miley Cyrus or whoever it was he was listening to.

I just think it was so disrespectful and distasteful. I don't have anything against iPods. Like the Runner's World article said, the issue at hand isn't even about the iPod. It's about having respect for the organization that's making the event possible and trying to provide everyone a great experience. I don't know... it just makes me feel sad to think about how some people believe their own immediate pleasure/gratification is MUCH more important than anyone else's, and disregards the fact that thier actions are offensive/disrespectful to others. Yes I know I am a little naive. But makes me sad.

I know this has nothing to do with running, but I just really wanted to talk about it and throw it out there. I think having respect is a really important topic for running though, and especially racing. And I also know that runners tend to be very introspective, reflective, observant, and intelligent people, so maybe you can share your wisdom with me. But you can totally feel free to disagree with me too, and tell me I'm wrong. Maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture. Please do enlighten me. Oh and yes, you can call Angela.


  1. I have always been on the leave the ipod at home side of the fence, although I do appreciate how much music can help, and I have run races with ipods, I no longer do.
    At Steamtown a few weeks ago, despite the RD pleas to leave ipods at home, there were several runners with ipods. I thought it was a little disrespectful, rules are in place for safety of everyone. This is a highly debatable topic though, but I think if a race bans/ or asks runners not to wear them, we should respect that whether or not we agree with it.

  2. It's funny really, I was an iPod girl for my entire Half training earlier in the year but after a friend told me how his friend was accosted while running and didn't see it coming because she was wearing an iPod I wised up and stopped using the iPod for music. Nike+ only. During miles 10-22 of Chicago I did end up throwing on my iPod for some tunes, one ear in, the other out so I could still get caught up in the foot falls and spectator cheers around me. It's not only a respect issue, it's a safety issue while running and plus do you really want to miss out on all that cheering?

  3. I agree, Americans disregard rules like its their job. Its hard to understand why ppl complain so much about little things too. Some times i wish that every one was just nice and followed the rules and were impatient and pushy!

  4. I am all about my ipod....but I totally agree-there is a level of respect that seems to be missing in our running society at times. Glad to run across your post :)

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  6. I'm on the fence about this. If the rules say no Ipod then obviously no ipod. But my question is why is that be a rule? If you chose to work your butt off to train for a race shouldn't you be able to listen to music if you want to? What does it hurt? I think our society breaks rules a lot too and I agree with it being disrespectful at a ballet. There are times when listening to music is rude but again, it is a free country. Unless your breaking the rules & listening to music and an obnoxious level, I say do what you want. Controversial post- i like it, but I'm not out to pick any fights so please dont be mad! :) xoxo

  7. I really, really really don't like people who wear iPods in races. They are a danger to themselves and other runners. NYRR generally forbids them in its races, and yet I have been standing next to people when they announce that they are forbidden. Makes we want to yank them out of their ears.

  8. I am a rule follower too. I don't care if others don't follow them but, I think if its says no ipods and they were them and get dq then there problem. I also think they missed out on some really cool convos if they where an ipod during a race!

  9. I've been frustrated to leave my music behind (because the rules say so!) and then show up to find 100+ ppl with their headphones on. To be honest, my first thought is "dangit! i could've brought my music too!" ...BUT, it's definitely not worth the DQ!

    I've just started running w/o music here and there so I can get used to it. not the worst thing in the world!

    This kid at the ballet?! He should've been removed from the auditorium. That's insane.

    Glad you had fun though :)

  10. Interesting post. I'm an iPod user, but it's certainly not an intential disrespect to the race organizers. If the only reason I can't wear one is for my own safety with traffic, I'm willing to risk it.

  11. Yeah, the ballet...definitely NOT a place to listen to the ipod. I agree that runners should follow the marathon/race rules. It's for our own safety! Plus, there are marathons like the Portland Marathon that advertise being ipod friendly. I think we should all be respectful of what's asked of us.



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