I clicked on this expecting to be angered (is that not that the main reason we read anything on the Internet?), but it instead confirmed something I wish I'd said out loud a long time ago!
A long time ago, I wrote a nice post about getting back into running. Unfortunately, right after that post, I injured myself, or aggravated some long-term problem in my knee, or something, which put me off running for long time.
But I started running again this summer, and again, it is so strange to be a runner now, having been a runner over 20 years ago, and how everyone who runs now has all kinds of crazy gear, like belts with water bottles attached - who on earth needs one of those to go out jogging for 3km? I recall seeing this one woman every morning, running very slowly and deliberately, with three small, completely filled water bottles. Perhaps it would have been easier for her to run if she weren't carrying 10lbs in water on her?
This was something I remember very clearly after I ran that race 5 years ago. Cheering people on the finish line, and watching people come in 20 minutes after me, wearing hundred of dollars of running "equipment", like special tights, and those crazy watches that tell you everything about your run, and all I could think to myself was "this equipment did not really do much for you".
Maybe that sounds unfair, but it is so easy to buy professionalism these days - to feel like you are with the pros. It's like Guitar Hero - it very much gives you the feeling of playing a guitar, but please do not tell me (as many do) that it's the same as actually playing a guitar. It isn't, and it's kind of insulting to all the people who spend day after day practising.
I am not really in a position to brag about my own discipline and amazing practicing techniques, but I know well enough to know that buying stuff isn't a replacement for taking the time to learn something, that's the attitudes that link jokes about is really more about commodification than it is about enjoyment or exercise.