Let me tell you a bit about the origins of this book and the original “Excuses Not to Workout” list.
The original excuse list was created over many years by running groups I have coached; specifically the High Performance Running Club and RxRunning & Racing Club in Tempe and Mesa, Arizona and Gilbert’s Mesquite High School cross-country team. In addition, a number of non-club individuals have contributed to the ever growing list of excuses.
A portion of excuses date much further back to the late 1970s from the high school years of Greg Mason. Greg’s list is courtesy of his Peoria Illinois high school coach. These ancient excuses were extracted from the stone tablets they were written on. It’s funny to see how little the excuses have changed over the years.
I also want to set the record straight, these excuses come from runners of all abilities. They are novice first-time runners to thirty-plus year veterans; teenagers to retirees; elite nationally ranked to back-of-the-packers. Be clear on this - no one is exempt!
During team meetings with the running groups we would state goals for the upcoming competitive season. In support of our goals we wanted to include some motivational fodder. In that vein, we would have a contest for the most creative, different or remarkable excuse for someone who didn’t get a scheduled workout done during the past year. Duplicates were not allowed, but twists on the former excuses were. Some excuses are derived from real incidents, some are quite fantasy; and yet some are real but seem like fantasy. In the end, everyone would vote for the “best” excuse. Of course, prizes and prides were at stake. Everyone wanted to have the best excuse not to get a run in. I do not - in any way – believe this book contains all the excuses for which not to workout. Quite the contrary, I firmly believe that this is a starting point from which everyone can build. There are as many excuses as there are people and these excuses are as unique as the person creating the excuse.
The book elaborates on the five major excuses people use for not working out derived from a landmark survey conducted by The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) in 1993. The NSGA did a survey of thousands of inactive people (less than 25 days a year fitness activity) and active people (more than 150 days a year of fitness activity). As you will see, the results were surprising and yet not so surprising.
This book is not just for runners however. Everyone who has ever endeavored to get in shape, embarked on a fitness program or stayed on a diet can benefit from reading this book. Excuses know no boundaries.
Over the 35 plus years of excuses during my own non-running periods, (yes, I’ve used a good portion of these excuses) and hearing excuses by so many others - I realized it would be handy to create a list to make it easier for everyone to easily choose an excuse. Voila! The handy-dandy every-excuse-you-ever-wanted-to-use excuse list is here. Now, in your running log just enter: Tuesday, #47; Wednesday, #141. It expedites conversations between runners – “It was a #221 day.” In reality this is a very practical, efficient long-time needed tool.
The point of this book is to clearly demonstrate that anything can become an excuse - real or imagined. Ok, another purpose of this book is simply a catharsis and as a salute to every runner I know.