Can you say counterintuitive? Thats the word that a Yahoo news site uses to describe Emily Strunk-Helm, a 36 year old Arizona woman who is in training for the Long Beach Marathon. In an attempt to raise $10,000 for her local Ronald McDonald House, Emily has vowed to eat all of her food from the McDonalds menu for the 31 days leading up to her October 9th marathon. I have to think that counterintuitive is a huge understatement: Insanity would more closely describe this feat of lunacy!
I have a great deal of respect for anyone that can complete a 26.2 mile marathon. I know firsthand that it takes months of intense training to be able to complete a marathon, and distance runners are the most health conscience people I know. McDonalds menu may have become healthier in recent years, but their staple foods like McNuggets, Big Macs, and fries in no way fit into the diet of the runners I associate with. Runners want carbohydrates, and these McDonalds food offers fats, fats, and more fats!
I think I understand, though, what Emily is doing: She is sacrificing her health for what she believes is a higher cause. She is likely in great health from years of running, so she will be able to cross the finish line in Long Beach no matter what she does for 31 days. Her gimmick has brought attention and this will likely result in a lot of money being raised for a good cause. She will feel miserable during her marathon, and will run considerably slower during it, but her years of training will overcome her 31 days of gross neglect, and she will emerge a winner. She will have contributed to a higher cause! The $10,000 will come at a high price, however: Obese Americans everywhere will say: See! Eating McDonalds food everyday isnt the reason Im in poor health! Now, that will be really counterintuitive!