In a recent viral Reddit post, a guy asked for advice after arguing with his sister-in-law, who claimed to have just run a marathon. A keen runner himself, he couldn’t help but challenge her when she told him what her “marathon” actually entailed. Was he wrong for questioning her achievements? Here’s what happened.
The Original Poster (OP) starts by explaining that he’s been a keen runner throughout his life. He’s a huge fan of the sport and always tries to encourage people to get into it. However, he recently had a situation with his sister-in-law (SIL) where he found himself “gate-keeping” instead…
She Started Running Recently
OP explains that his SIL recently got into running and has really fallen in love with it. Since he’s in the same boat, he thought he “could connect with her on the topic.” He decided he’d try to ask about her progress, see how her runs have been going, and offer tips if she ever wanted them.
He Asked About It at a Family Gathering
With that in mind, OP decided to ask about SIL’s running at a recent family get together. After some chitchat, she told him that she’d just ran a marathon. OP was shocked and amazed at her dedication…until she explained what her “marathon” really entailed…
It Wasn’t a Real Marathon
Apparently, SIL had done a “virtual marathon,” conducted via an app, where entrants tallied up their running distances over a certain timeframe until they’d completed the full marathon distance of 42.2km (26.2 miles). She’d started at the end of last year and recently finished.
OP Told Her the Facts
OP says he “chuckled slightly” when she told him what she’d accomplished. He congratulated her on running that far in the time frame, but corrected her, saying that it didn’t really count as a true marathon. He explained that proper marathons have time limits. If they didn’t, then he could claim to have run multiple ultra-marathons if he tallied up his own runs throughout his lifetime.
He Kept Going…
OP also said that claiming what she did was a marathon was disingenuous. In his opinion, it “undermines those who have actually ran a marathon.”
She Didn’t Respond Well
Apparently, SIL didn’t like his perspective. Far from it. She called him “an a******, a bully, an elitist” and several other insults. OP apologized for making her upset, but didn’t back down. In his mind, she hadn’t run a marathon. He left it there, but SIL didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night.
There Were Mixed Opinions
OP says his wife agrees with him and thinks her sister reacted too strongly. But her mom had a different view. She thought OP should have let SIL believe she’d run a marathon. But should he?
OP Wasn’t Sure
OP sought validation from Reddit. He wasn’t sure he agreed with his mother-in-law. Was it really right to let SIL believe she’d done a marathon? After all, she’s 23 years-old. He said, “Validating her ‘marathon’ would feel similar to lying to a child to boost their confidence. The difference is, she is not a child.” Was he in the wrong, though?
Reddit Was (Mostly) On His Side
People on Reddit almost unanimously came to his defence. He wasn’t the bad guy. Her logic was flawed; he simply told her the truth. As one person wrote:
“She didn’t run a marathon. According to Apple health, over the past 26 weeks, I’ve averaged 5.1miles a day. Does that mean I’m walking a marathon every 6 days? Of course not. That’s ridiculous.” And another added, “Saying “I ran a marathon” implies that you completed the whole distance in the same day – not that you did a mile a day on an instalment plan. Otherwise I climb Mount Everest every year on my stairs.”
He Could Have Handled It Better
Yet not everyone thought OP was innocent. Some ignored the debate about the marathon, saying it was pretty obvious she hadn’t run one. That didn’t mean he’d handled the situation well, though. One said:
“You are right and she is wrong. That is pretty cut and dry. However, that doesn’t mean you didn’t handle that specific scenario like an a******, if that makes sense.” Someone else agreed, saying, “Your verbiage paints kind of a specific negative wojak picture. You were an a****** here…Your gate keeping did what, exactly? What gain did anyone get from this?”
What Do You Think?
So what’s your opinion? Did OP do anything wrong here? Was he right to correct his SIL on her mistake? Or should he have just let her believe she’d done a marathon? Likewise, could he have dealt better with the situation? Drop a comment with your thoughts.
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