Rule 1.60 in Mark Remy’s “The Runner’s Rule Book” always makes me laugh, but…my friends, there is a real element of truth in this. I once saw a young girl at Waldameer (perhaps in her late teens, early 20s) who had a giant tattoo that spread across her chest that said “Forever Young.” Some day, when that chest falls (and it will), she is going to look pretty damn stupid because nobody is forever young. Nobody….even Dick Clark started showing his age eventually.
Choose your Tattoos Wisely
There is always good advice, and not just for runners. That super-cool tribal tat you got at age 23 isn’t going to look quite so super-cool when you’re a sagging 85 and have to explain to yet another nurse that no, it is not a skin condition, it’s a Polynesian symbol that means “free spirit.” Tattoos for runners fall into two basic categories.
1. Running- or race-specific. We’re talking about those “26.2″ tatoos or little running guy on your ankle — or for a more select crowd — perhaps the Ironman logo. These are the equivalent of a bumper sticker that says I <3 Running. Except it’s on your body, and you can’t peel it off with a razor blade.
2. Generally cool and/or badass. These are tattoos that don’t scream “running” or even necessarily whisper it. They’re just cool. Typically they express, via words or symbols, the idea that the owner of the tat is disciplined or tough or otherwise up the challenge. Think “fire-breathing dragon” or the words up to the challenge.
If you do decide to get a running tattoo, be sure you can back it up. Think before you ink.