Running Club

In the future,

the Omega Pill solves everyone’s health problems. It makes them disease free and thin, but it also leaves them weak and lazy. Intensive exercise is viewed only as a risk factor for accidents and injuries and is all but outlawed by the healthcare giants. Most of society acquiesces. But the president of the local underground running club sees things differently. This is a science fiction adventure short story of approximately 14,000 words. Watch for Runner’s new adventures coming later this year.

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Here’s some behind-the-scenese information on Running Club.

This short story started with a simple question. What would happen if I were not allowed to run?

Well, to answer that question, I really had to decide on why I wouldn’t be allowed to run in the first place! Not being able to run because of an injury would result in a much different story than not being able to run because of being in prison, for instance.

I started thinking about the future and about the healthcare industry. I have no disdain for most of the healthcare providers with whom I have dealt. They have been dedicated, talented, and compassionate overall. But the “system” in which they operate is completely hosed as well as not being focused on the right things (in my mind) such as prevention. Instead, the current system rewards doctors, health insurance companies, and patients who throw money and drugs instead of common sense at the country’s health problems.

When I took today’s healthcare system to the extreme in my mind, I ended up with a world that isn’t too hard to imagine as being true one day. In this dystopian future, a pharmaceutical giant discovers and manufactures a pill to end all pills–one that takes care of all your health issues, including disease and being overweight. The company then charges an arm and a leg for the pill. Even with health insurance, it still costs a lot. As in a new car kind of “a lot.”

Then one day, some bright employee at the health insurance company conducts a study. The results of this study show that because everyone who is taking their pill is already healthy, intensive exercise like biking and running are now responsible for the majority of injuries and accidents in the populace.

Running has become a risky activity.

In the final story, running isn’t quite illegal, but it is banned at night in the city where the main character lives. And if you decide to run during the day, the Healthcare Compliance PD can’t put you in jail or give you a ticket, but they will put your name on a list so that you won’t be eligible for legal health insurance anymore. And, yes, I know the health insurance companies don’t have that kind of power today. But in the future, hey, things will be different.

What does one guy decide to do since he lives in a world where he isn’t allowed to run? He starts his own underground running club, of course. His name? Well, you can just call him “Runner.”