While the rest of us lace up for Global Running Day on June 7, the world's elderly scolds are celebrating their own less-publicized event—Global Running-Will-Ruin-Your-Knees Day.
"Our mission is pretty simple," says Art Selwyn, 81, founder of Global Running-Will-Ruin-Your-Knees Day. "To tell folks that running will ruin their knees."
"It will, you know," he added. "All that pounding. Give you arthritis, too."
Those beliefs are false; research has found that, for those with no history of joint problems, running is actually good for the knees.
But things like research matter little to Selwyn and his cohorts, who insist that their stance is based on "common sense" and never miss a chance to say so.
Logistically, that can be tricky. Global Running-Will-Ruin-Your-Knees Day has no website, because none of the organizers knows how to use a computer. Instead, they mail postcards weeks in advance of the big day, urging recipients to speak up on June 7 and remind everyone they see that running will ruin their knees.
Seniors everywhere are also encouraged to share photos of them admonishing others for running, via Polaroid cameras and the U.S. Postal Service.
"Opportunities abound," said Ben Luckett, 77. "At the supermarket, family get-togethers, restaurants..."
"On the jogging path," said Luckett's wife, Mary.
"On the jogging path," Luckett said. "Obviously."
The Lucketts are celebrating the day by handing out postcards and stickers with GRWRYKD's logo and slogan ("Running Will Ruin Your Knees"). Others say they woke early to get the word out.
"I was in my car at 7 a.m., shouting, 'Running will ruin your knees!' over and over," said Bernie Lefkowitz, 80. "I'm not sure anyone heard me, because my windows were rolled up. And the car was in the garage."
"I don't drive," he added.