Last week I came across an amazing but sad piece piece by Ted Jackson on the underbelly of elite-sports no one wants to speak about. Very similar to medals being chased in elite sports, similar things are now happening amongst amateur runners. In our eagerness to get out of the rat-race, we are getting into another one.

Aman Yadav has put something down that'll not make for comfortable reading. It might make you angry. You might get frustrated. That's ok. At least it might make you introspect. 

The Me Monster was the apple of his parents’ eyes. His parents were wealthy enough and loved him so much that they would fulfil all his demands. Even all his unreasonable demands would be accepted in a jiffy, and all his mistakes had no consequences.    

Whenever the Me Monster was acting selfishly or inconsiderately, his parents would never punish him because they could just not bear to make him sad. The Me Monster’s parents never laid a hand on him, other than just slight raps on a few occasions.   

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Naturally, the Me Monster grew up thinking that he is a unique snowflake and t hat he is the centre of the universe. He went to college and breezed through it with a smile on his face since his parents ensured that he never faced any problems while studying. Once the Me Monster got into a fight with another boy in college and he was punched in the face. The Me Monster was taken aback. He didn’t know what to do, he didn’t know how to react. He remembered how his parents never did something deplorable like hitting him and he felt really sad. But after a few days, he forgot about it and continued with his glorious sugar coated cinnamon bun of a life.   

The Me Monster assumed that the e ntire world will treat him like his parents and that life is all sunshine and rainbows.

Soon enough graduation ended and the Me Monster found the job of his dreams and also fell in love with a  great girl and got married.

In just a few years, the Me Monster start ed disliking his job, because he had to reach office on time, meet deadlines and deal with his clients. Plus his job was difficult and he had to w ork really hard to get his bonuses and promotions. Specifically, he had to work more than his peers. The Me Monster was tasting competition and he didn’t like it. He knew that something was wrong because all he had to do was offer himself to the world and doors should open. So why these doors were still locked? Why wasn’t it all smooth sailing? He never ever even considered that maybe he has to improve himself and maybe he is at fault! 

The Me Monster hated that his boss also shouted at him almost every day and he wished that his evil boss would just leave him alone. He missed his parents who would have accepted whatever he did and would never be mean and wretched like his boss.   

At home also the Me Monster felt really bad because he had to take ownership of things and manage the household, and he felt his wife was a bitch and his kids were ungrateful little shits. He said to himself “it’s all that bitch ’ s fault and my kids are self - entit led pricks.”   

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Sometimes in a fit of rage, the Me Monster would hit his wife and kids, but later would feel a lot of remorse. But overtime he developed a strong dislike for his wife, and he started an affair with a colleague. She made him feel really good and ado rned him with praises and he felt like he did as a child - warm and happy, and it was all about him.   

But gradually he started hating his life more. His wor k sucked, his wife was just a wench, his kids were assholes. He also started disliking the wom an he was having an affair with because he felt that she wasn’t paying him enough attention.   

The Me Monster never realised that he could improve his work life by just working harder. He failed to realize that his boss reprimand ed him only for his work quality and if he improved it, then his boss would have no reason to poi nt a finger at him. At home, he never realised that he could love his wife and kids more and improve how he behaves with them to be happy again, and if the wife was really that evil then he could just divorce her and start afresh.   

While all this was happening, a marketing genius / evil wizard called Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and another plat form called Instagram was created by tw o Stanford graduates. The Me Monster eagerly registered on such social media pl atforms and he started a parallel life which was warm and happy; and he was always in control; and it was always about him; and the best of all was that he could create a false identity by showing himself in a positive light all the time.     

A wave of relief washed over the Me Monster because e very day for 3 - 4 hours of his life, he co uld be in total control of his life and its emotional feedback from people. And he would make sure that the feedback remained positive!   

All the sadness in his life, all his psychological issues (which could be anything from child abuse, domestic violence, sexual inadequacies etc.) and all his anger could be brushed und er t he carpet while he was on social media. Whenever he felt sad, all he had to do was upload something on soci al media and get dopamine hits when other people liked and commented. Obviously he also reciprocated such likes and comments so that the univers al equilibrium of denial remained balanced.   

At this time, he also took up a very simple but solo sport called Running. Maybe he was asked to run because h is doctor told him to or he was bored. No one knows the reason. Voila! He realised that, now he did not even have to put any creative effort into uploading. All he had to do was upload his runs, medals, pictures, motivational photos, sob stories of unsuccessful races, joyfu l stories of successful races, inspirational quotes, health tips etc. and wait for validation from his huge network of "friend s." His l ife may suck, but boy was he a star on socia l media. He loved it. It was intoxicating. Again after so many decades it was all about him . He felt the caress of the time gone by when as a child it was all about him. ME. MEE. MEE. MEEE. ME EEE. MEEEE.   

He fel t extremely grateful to the social media platforms because never before could he show everything even remotely interesting in his life to the world without being called a nutcase.   

Once the Me Monster even thought of doing something for society. He decided that he wanted to help the world. So he came up with an idea that he will run to raise money for charity. This was an exciting adventure to embark upon because he could post so much more on social media and then articles about him would appear in newspapers. Dynamite! It will be a ME paradise.    

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As is habit for the Me Monster, he never even thought of asking people to donate money for the social cause in person or via email or via phone because for some reasons he believed th at his friends and family are stupid and would never donate money to the cause unless he did a ME stunt on social media.   

The Me Monster ignored facts such as the creator of the Like button on Facebook was bulimic and depressed and she had created the Like button for herself to feel better. This woman even quit her job after realising the monsters she had created. The Me M onster overlooks all the videos and articles of social media founders when they ad mit that they have manipulated human behaviour worldwide and are harming society more than helping. 

Anyway for the Me Monster, l ife became simple again. F eel bad about work or home, or childhood trauma, or anything in general – then don’t introspect, don’t read self - help books, don’t see a psychologist, instead just upload something on to social media and wait for the dopamine hit of validation. It was warm and happy again. He felt like a child again. He lived happily ever after.    

The Me Monster runs off and on and he reads a lot of inspirational stories about people who are doing tremendous thin gs through solo running. Deep inside he realises that solo running can induce magnificent and positive behavioural changes in h im if he does some introspection and critical analysis of his general outlook on life. He has even read of people with no lower limbs climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or doing races in a wheelchair, but he nev er shares these nuggets on his social media. He always shares himself to help the world . He gives them ME, MEE, MEEE, MEEEE and some more.

The End.   

As Aman said, "This video would also have to be put in the story for maximum effect." So here is that video. 

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