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Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

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Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

Post by watching on Sat Jul 02 2011, 11:55

Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney'
By Jon Ronson


I started running because I found myself in the same room as George Clooney, saw how fantastically thin he was, looked down at myself and noticed – and I really had no idea – that I was fat.

"How did that happen?" I thought, startled. "I was definitely thin until recently, yet I haven't changed anything about my lifestyle except I've been eating a lot more puddings. Maybe that's it."

And so I did something I'd never done before. I went for a run.

This was in Puerto Rico. I was there because they were turning one of my books into a film and, assuming everyone was, in my absence, having unimaginable fun, I asked if I could visit the set. They weren't having unimaginable fun. Everyone was busy and stressed and filled with anxieties. But they were fantastically thin.

I've been running almost every day since. The weight fell off me within a month or so, and has never come back. I don't understand why anyone would want to go on a diet. It seems crazy. Dieters are tired and sluggish. They joylessly eat boiled fish meals with watery sauces and no bread. Diets are about edging miserably away from things – puddings, cheese, etc. Whereas running is about tearing into something – into a park or a city or along a beach. A 40-minute run uses up 400 or 500 calories, I imagine. What is the not eating equivalent of that? You'd have to not eat a whole lunch and then you'd be hungry and unhappy and unable to concentrate for the rest of the day.

Running can be a little painful sometimes, towards the end, or when you go uphill, or if your knees start to give way. (When that happens, I switch to a cross-trainer for a few weeks, which is just as great as I get to watch YouTube videos. I am the Dr Livingstone of YouTube, finding myself hacking through dense, unexplored forests of forgotten punk bands.) But the pain of running is a bracing, enlivening pain, unlike the endless dull ache of a diet, that constant miserable feeling of emptiness. Running is the opposite of emptiness. Your ears are filled with the music you're listening to, your eyes with the trees or buildings you're running past. Endorphins shoot all around you, like your own little stash of heroin.

I run about four miles a day, wherever I am. So I find myself in parts of cities I'd never otherwise make it to. I've run along the Charles river in Boston and over the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. I once accidentally ran into a bad part of New York City and some muggers ran after me. You know what? I effortlessly outran them. I am only the second Jew ever to accomplish such a physical feat, the first being Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man.

All those decades I stood on the other side of the mountain, hopelessly chain-smoking, overweight, thinking I'd never climb over. And it turned out to be unexpectedly easy. It takes about two weeks to get fit enough to run four miles a day. I wish I'd known that years ago.

Now you should see me without my shirt on. It's amazing. I look like George Clooney. If I miss a few days, my body feels chemically unbalanced, unpleasant and icky, as if there are ants crawling all over me, and I become restless and fretful. So I'm evidently addicted, but at least for the first time in my life I'm addicted to something good.

Link to Guardian article

watching
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

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Re: Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 02 2011, 14:02

Thanks Watching. Good read. It doesn't make me want to go running to look like George, however, if he was running in front of me - watch out! I could probably do the 50 yard dash in 30 minutes flat!!!! All the time screaming - "wait for me George, wait for me!!!!"

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19133
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

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Re: Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

Post by cindigirl on Sat Jul 02 2011, 15:49

Hi Mel, your post is really funny. When you were gone I truly missed your fantastic sense of humor.

cindigirl
Happy Clooney-looney!

Posts : 5313
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : NJ, USA

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Re: Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 02 2011, 16:47

Thanks Cindi! You're perfect for my currently deflated ego! I really appreciate you!! Give Flowers

melbert
George Clooney fan forever!

Posts : 19133
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : George's House

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Re: Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

Post by cindigirl on Sat Jul 02 2011, 16:56

Thanks Cindi! You're perfect for my currently deflated ego! I really appreciate you

For someone who has a deflated ego, cudos for your sense of humor.
"deflated ego" seems to be the norm for today. You're not alone.

cindigirl
Happy Clooney-looney!

Posts : 5313
Join date : 2010-12-06
Location : NJ, USA

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Re: Why I run: 'To look like George Clooney' - by author of Men who stare at Goats

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