White Sox Run Club Bio: Brian O’Neill (@oneillofchicago)
How long have you been running for?
My running days go back to, oh, September 2021, when the world was fresh and innocence was still in bloom. I remember it like it was recently.
How in the world did you get into running?
To say that throughout my 43 years I’ve been a non-runner would be an understatement. I’ve reached my goal of never running a marathon by assiduously training to never run a half-marathon, and even strenuously avoiding a 5K. It was work, but if you believe in something, it’s worth it.
I have always liked moving, and play sports and such, and taking long walks is my greatest meditative joy. But running never struck me as fun. It seemed like a chore, a good walk spoiled. But then some of you did the White Sox 5K last year, and I sort of shadowed that, and was encouraged by some real good folks in a chat.
So this year I decided to do the 108, the first time I’ve really committed myself to running regularly. Just as I was moved by the spirit of generosity in the 5K, I’m so touched by the easy-going encouragement this whole community is showing each other, starting with Luke.
Long story short it was because I wanted the approval of drunken weirdos I’ve never met. It’s sort of a hero’s journey, if the hero is a schmuck.
These. Asics or something. They are also my tennis shoes, basketball shoes, and going to the gym shoes. But they are NOT my date night shoes, and to imply so is nothing but slander! Like all of us here, I am a man of class and Dignity.
Favorite Running Route:
Never run by the American Toby Jug museum, because it’s impossible to run past! They’re so charming. It’s what we long-time runners call “The Toby Trap.”
Do you have a favorite playlist or podcast you listen to during your runs?
I actually don’t listen to anything when running, except the sound of the wind rippling over the lake, the waves crashing with their tide-driven permanence, and my own wheezing. So much wheezing. It’s a symphony, a requiem to an old and used-up body. Let’s say a threnody.
What I do like to do is check boatnerd.ais to see if I’ll be able to see any Great Lakes freighters along the run. I feel that amps up my “sex appeal”.
What advice do you have for other White Sox Run Club participants about running or staying active?
Maybe, like me, you’re not a runner, and it feels like agony to go out there. The numbers seem impossibly high. Don’t worry about numbers for the sake of numbers. Don’t worry about your pace for the sake of your pace. Don’t feel that you’re going to “fall short” if you don’t hit an arbitrary milestone.
It’s like anything else. You do it because you feel good about yourself, because you have a different kind of energy, and because it makes you happy to take care of yourself, even a little bit. If you tell yourself you’re going to do 5 miles a day and then don’t, you feel bad. If you tell yourself you’re going to do a few miles, a long walk, a good stretch, and you do, you feel good.
I like to be in shape because then I don’t feel bad about indulgence. Exercise in the morning, whiskey in the evening. It’s all about finding balance.
So do yoga. Do zumba. Walk around the backyard 30 times. Do the 108 miles in a week if that’s going to make you happy. But whatever you do, do it for yourself.
2022 White Sox Bold Prediction:
At some point we’ll be saying that Robert’s MVP case is being hurt because Moncada is going to split some ballots. It will be a good problem to have.