Paul Butzi |||

Bad Influence Friends

I was recovering from an ankle injury, and was nearly all healed up. We were about to go on a trip where we would see some of our ultrarunning friends, with whom we had run across the Grand Canyon. And I was at my PT appointment with Susie the PT because of the ankle problem. I was hoping she’d tell me it was ok to go for a run with those friends. I also knew she was going to think it was a bad idea.

The conversation went more or less like this:

Me: We’re going on a trip next week. Do you think I’m OK to go for a little run with some friends?

Susie the PT: Sure, a little run would be ok as long as you take it easy. (pause to look at me with suspicion) Wait, how long will this run be?

Me: (trying to look innocent) Oh, you know, not far.

Susie the PT: (more suspicious) You’re thinking something stupid, like ten miles, aren’t you? Wait a minute! (long pause while she looks hard at me) These are your Grand Canyon ultrarunning friends, aren’t they?

Me: Well… sort of. Ok, yes.

Susie the PT: No! You may not go for a short run’ with your ultrarunning friends, because a short run’ will be 15 miles or something. If you run you have to run solo and no further than 3 miles. If you go run with your ultrarunning friends you will blow right past 3 miles, because your ultrarunning friends are a Bad Influence. They are Bad Influence Friends!

I have two points to make about this:

  1. I’m very grateful that I have Bad Influence Friends. They’ve pushed me into doing things I thought were impossible. I’m a better version of me because of my Bad Influence Friends. My Bad Influence Friends are actually Very Good Influence Friends even if they occasionally tempt me into things that are perhaps ill advised.
  2. If you don’t have Bad Influence Friends who push you into being your best self, you need to go get some.
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