What if the characters in Winnie-The-Pooh were runners? What types of runners would they be? Can we learn about ourselves by examining our own running personalities against those from these childhood stories?
In 1982 Benjamin Hoff published a book titled, The Tao of Pooh. It is a thought provoking read that finds the fundamentals of Taoism illustrated in the nature of each Winnie-The-Pooh character. The synopsis reads, “While Eeyore frets and Piglet hesitates and Rabbit calculates and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is.” One of the things that makes the book fun is that we can all find ourselves in the characters and gain a little insight into why we are the way we are and how we approach life.
We decided to mimic this approach but instead of Taoism, we would look at running. Below is a brief breakdown of some of the characters (not necessarily based on Hoff’s analysis) and some speculation of what they would be like as runners. Which ones do you most closely identify with?
Pooh is a simple, likable, easygoing bear who does not feel the need to plan ahead. He thinks life is fun and lives spontaneously from moment to moment and yet somehow everything works out for him.
Running Pooh: (That sounds gross) The Pooh-style runner is someone who does not bother making a lot of goals or stressing out for big races. These runners train because they love it and end up racing and performing well almost by accident. They are also truly happy when other runners do well.
Owl seeks knowledge for the sake of feeling wise. He is eloquent and loves to give his opinion or state facts about things even when no one wants to hear it. His friends often go to him for advice which he is happy to give along with a story.
Running Owl: Runners with a lot of Owl in them make a study of the sport. They want to know the why and the how of every workout. They take pride in knowing the physiology of training and are happy to share that knowledge with their teammates but probably not with other runners.
Eeyore worries a lot and does not believe he is very good or worthy. He is pessimistic and does not think highly of the other animals. He is always surprised and then very grateful when his friends rally to help him out of trouble or when something goes well for him.
Running Eeyore: Running Eeyores would rather set their sights too low than fail to achieve more lofty goals. They tend to downplay even their good performances and like to find fault in how the other runners did in a race. Running Eeyores can be very likable teammates but need lots of encouragement.
Rabbit is smart and knows it. He likes to organize things for his friends and is the self-appointed leader of the group. He loves to take charge and make a plan. He has a good heart beneath a sometimes prickly exterior.
Running Rabbit: Rabbit runners are passionate about running and want others to feel the same way they do. They like to talk about the team aspect of the sport and organize workouts and other gatherings. Running rabbits make great team captains and often enjoy the title.
Tigger is full of energy and enthusiasm but because he does not understand his limitations he often rushes (or bounces) into things and gets himself in trouble. He has a zest for life and is eager to try new things.
Tigger Runner: The motto for Tigger runners is, “if a little is good then more must be better!” They tend to train too hard too fast and as a consequence can get injured. They believe in themselves and their abilities almost to a fault and as a result might be prone to going out too fast at the beginning of races.
Piglet is a little guy with a big heart. He is brave beyond his size. He never backs down to a challenge or hesitates to help his friends. What he lacks in size he makes up for with his desire.
The Piglet Runner: If you want to beat Piglet runners you are going to have to beat their best. They will not give an inch and will push themselves to be the best they can. Piglet runners make excellent teammates and often lead by example.
I have many aspects of these characters in me. I think I am about 15% Pooh, 30% Owl, 30% Tigger, 20% Piglet and 5% Eeyore. Even though I hate to admit that I have so much Owl in me, I am that guy who likes to feel wise and I often give people advice even when they don’t want any!
I have not read what Adam is going to write yet, but if he does not say he is at least 80% Tigger then you know he is lying!
What I love about this concept is that nearly everyone will find at least part of who they are or what they are like in each of these characters. Tim is quick to point out that if I say I’m anything less than 80% Tigger then I’m lying. Well, I agree that from the outside looking in, 80% Tigger would be a good guess. However, breaking it down into percentages, I would have to say I’m more 65% Tigger, 15% Piglet, 10% Owl, 5% Rabbit, 3% Pooh, 2% Eeyore. (yes I have my moments when I need to be told ‘you can do it!’)
Now, getting back to Tim saying he’s only 35% Owl… Anyone who knows Tim, knows he is much closer to 65%!
Do you have these characters in you? Tell us your percentage below!