Well Done For Doing Dry January – But Stop Acting Like It Makes You A Champion Of Human Endurance
You're not David Blaine
Let’s start with a positive: if you’re doing Dry January, then well done.
Seriously. It’s an admirable thing to undertake in a country where you’re thrown suspicious glances every time you order a glass of ice water, unless you have the ready-made excuse of a car outside or a baby inside you.
And given that the exercise is all in aid of a good cause, it’s definitely worth a doff of the cap.
But to look at social media over the last few days, it seems like far too many people are failing to see the difference between admirable and remarkable; viewing this as some sort of excursion into the very depths of human endurance.
If you’re one of those people, then please, please, get fucking real. Or, in the words of the ever-insightful Rosemary Mac Cabe:
Despite the pain you think you’re experiencing at the prospect of not ingesting a particular chemical for four weeks, you are not David Blaine.
You’re not committing to live in a perspex box over the Thames with only a meagre supply of water fed in through a tube, or standing in a giant block of ice for 60 hours.
You’re not climbing Everest, Kilimanjaro, Carrauntoohil or even Bray Head for Christ’s sake… nor are you running an Ironman, or a marathon.
You’re not even running the mini-marathon.
You’re not even walking the mini-marathon.
This isn't to be down on what's a perfectly worthy exercise, from health, social and fundraising points of view.
And the odd social media post with a link to your fundraising page is completely understandable, because – just like the ice bucket challenge or the no-makeup selfie – it’s a good hook around which to pull together a few quid.
But if you’re doing day-by-day coverage of your travails, or a video diary, or making any reference to a ‘huge challenge’ that you’re ‘undertaking’… well, you seriously need to check yourself.