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BolderBoulder Slogan Under Attack

05/13/2014

rsz_sissies-bolder-boulder-270x270The BolderBoulder attracts tens of thousands of runners and walkers every year. Some of them in traditional running gear, many of them in goofy costumes — to participate in the annual BolderBoulder, a 10-kilometer road race that has become one of America’s most loved races.

For some, however, there is contention about the race’s slogan – ‘Sea Level Is For Sissies’. At more than 5,400 feet above sea level, running in Boulder ups the ante for even the most elite athlete. Lower air pressure at higher altitudes makes it significantly harder for the body to process oxygen.

Out Boulder, a LGBTQ advocacy group, has launched an online petition seeking to pressure organizers of the Bolder Boulder to drop their slogan because they say the word “sissies” is derogatory.

Sissy is indeed derogatory. But in this case the term is not aimed at LGBTQ.

Being called a sissy has motivated many school children, athletes and siblings to feats of legend – on the playing field, back yard or driveway. It’s a motivator. It’s emotional. And no one wants to be called one.

Now because Out Boulder says it targets LGBTQ’s it’s a problem.

BolderBoulder organizers insist the slogan is not targeting LGBTQ’S. In fact the slogan, along with others like “Altitude Adjustment” and “Run with Altitude,” references the elevation of the annual race. And it’s been used for over six years.

The term sissy is often aimed at teammates, peers and friends who are not pulling their weight. Not living up to their potential. Receiving the ‘sissy’ designation from a classmate in 10th grade Phy Ed class fitness testing motivated me to knock of 60 sit-ups in 60-seconds – and a seat in the top row of the gymnasium bleachers with the cool kids. That was the last time I heard the word directed at me.

Please don’t get me wrong. I believe all American’s deserve the right to live without persecution or threat. That said we should recognize when political correctness gets in everyone’s way. BolderBoulder is a fun event – let’s use caution when attempting to take the fun out of anything.

Ironically the ‘Sea Level Is For Sissies’ t-shirt is the best seller of all BolderBoulder products.

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