I'm in the midst of preparing for the Boston Marathon. As a result, I'm a running hermit, doing my own thing. Most people are not interested in running their Sunday run at two easy, five at threshold, five minute jog, four at threshold, four minute jog, etc.
I had hoped that in my absence the Sunday runs would continue. They have, but as I joke and sad to say, the reality is, as we get more members, we have less runners.
I'm the club leader, so I have to take responsibility. I have to drive the club forward. The only problem is, I'm a reluctant leader. I am an individualist at heart. I wish to empower others to grab the reins and control the horses. However, most people don't want the reins. They wish to sit in the back of the buggy and let others lead.
Fine. I accept that. Although, a club without members who shoulder a bit of responsibility is not much of a club at all. In economics, this is called the free rider problem. It's where those who benefit from resources, goods, or services do not pay for them, which results in either an under-provision of those goods or services, or in an overuse or degradation of a common property resource.
Here, the common property resource is me, and I feel degraded. I've made an effort for 20 months or so, to lead Sunday runs. I've rearranged my schedule and negotiated with my wife so that I could lead club runs. Yes, it's what I wanted to do, but at the same time, it was in the hope of growing the club. When I've asked for a bit of reciprocation from the free riders, I'm told, "No, I can't".
At the same time, members RSVP then don't show up. This demonstrates a lack of consideration for others, as it results in a group of people standing around waiting for someone who isn't coming. I ask that people who can't make it, just change their RSVP to a "No".
With that said, I wish thank Chris, Greg, Erik and Dax, as they have broad shoulders. When I've asked, you've delivered.
I will continue to soldier on, but ask those who are in the club to reflect on what that means. Does it mean just show up and run on Sundays, or something more. Think about it, because without more, I'll go back to being a lone wolf, rather than a rabbit.