There are few things in life that give me as much satisfaction as dropping an appropriately timed and well-deserved F-bomb.
This doesn't mean I'm proud of this habit. Far from it. One of the things I like least about myself is my propensity to curse. It's unattractive and shows a lack of intelligence if the most creative and insightful thing I can think of to say is shit, fuck, or damn.
I dropped a big one in my half-marathon on Sunday. I was running strong, racing toward my PR, when I came to the 5-mile water stop. I desperately needed some Gatorade and so called out "Gatorade!" as I approached. This is an established heads-up to volunteers that they need to point you to the table with Gatorade and the ones holding the cups will usually call out, "Gatorade here!" and push the cups toward you.
Instead, everyone just kind of stood there, holding their little cups out. By this time I'm on top of them. "Gatorade?" I yelled. The volunteers at the front table pointed me toward the end table. I ran there and grabbed a cup... and tasted water.
"Gatorade?" I gasped.
"Oh, that was at that table back there," said a very sweet volunteer, in the most pleasant voice possible as she pointed at the table behind us.
"FUCK!" I screamed. "You guys have to call it out!" Annoyed, I slammed my water cup to the ground and resumed my run.
Here's the fun part. The course was an out and back, which meant I circled back to this aid station. I was also wearing an unmistakable orange running skirt which was easily spotted from a half-mile away. When I got to the aid station, people were falling over themselves yelling "Water!" and "Gatorade!" Which is great, except there's probably a better than average chance they saw me coming and spit in my drink.
Because here's the thing. I make a valid point. Volunteers are there to assist and not everyone is out for a fun run. I was on a mission to PR. Get me my drink and don't mess with me.
But I could have left it at "You guys need to call it out!" There was no reason to use the F-bomb.
So I apologize, water stop lady. I was wrong to say what I did, especially when you were volunteering your time.
I've still got some work to do, but I'm working on it. And next time I hope I f---ing get it right.