I am a single female runner who is very attracted to a guy in my running club. I have introduced myself, and we have run together a few times, but whenever I try to suggest that we go out on a date the topic turns to speed, cramps, fartleks and improving his personal best! How can I break the ice and make him understand how I feel about him? - Sprinting for Love
I have a duty to be honest with you: "breaking the ice" with this guy is not going to be easy. It was not easy to invent the light bulb, they had a hard time figuring out how to split the atom, and putting a man on the moon was not a "walk in the park", but all these things were possible. Your struggle has similar potential to succeed. You are fortunate in that you have directed your query towards a male member of this species who is uniquely qualified to respond to your cry for help. I, too, am a runner.
The truth is that we male runners are difficult to understand, tough to distract and almost impossible to acquire due to our unconventional behaviorism of "unnatural focus".
As an analogy, let's consider the typical household kitchen magnet. Like the male runner, the magnet is generally inanimate, strongly attracted to ferromagnetic materials and must be forcefully pried off the surface of a refrigerator door with a power greater than its capacity for attraction.
So too must the single minded competitive male runner be "pried" away from his single-minded focus on all things related to his sport. The solution to your problem is to somehow engage him in the challenge of your pursuit.
The following phrases have been specially engineered to help you, and those like you, who are working to break down the unnatural barriers to the male runner's companionship.
The first phrase uses the ploy of implied superiority: "Hey I saw you out there on the road today, you are not too bad, how long have you been jogging?"
This technique is especially useful if the object of your desire is too focused on constantly trying to "prove himself" to others. It has the added complexity of degrading the male runner with the accusatory term "jogger", further enticing him to respond with a hearty "I'll show you!"
Another popular method is to use the faux-propositional challenge: "If you catch me, you can have me".
Not only does this appeal to the "challenge focused" male runner, it gives him the added incentive to set a personal record. The simplicity of this "ice breaker" is that he will believe that he is chasing you, when of course we know it is quite the opposite. Male runners are fun to manipulate this way.
Positive applications of the many fallacies of relevance can be used to "ensnare" a candidate beau. One favorite is the argumentum ad baculum, or Appeal to Force: "I can beat you in a race any day..." - you should proclaim - "Let's race! The winner has to buy dinner tonight".
Again, the theme here is similar to the previous examples, where a challenge is made, and a reward is pre-declared. What the male runner here fails to understand is, win or lose you get to have dinner with him, and thus have won!
It is clear (somehow) that the typical male runner is a special breed of humanity with as many idiosyncrasies as he has virtues. Your mission to attract one of these strange creatures is as noble an act as climbing a mountain, writing a novel, or finishing a marathon. Though you face difficult obstacles, and may suffer repeated defeats in your battle, I have full faith that with gentle application of these introductory phrases, you will find yourself on that date with your male runner in record time.
Hear that? It is the sound of the ice cracking!
Run long and taper.