Is Your Running Crew A Boy Band?


Am I the only one who loves boy bands? The coordinating outfits. The smooth harmonies. The sweet dance moves. I bet you can even finish this line: “Tell me whyyyy…” (You’re welcome for the earworm!)

Even if you are “too cool” to listen to these singing, dancing angels on Earth, you probably know that there is a boy band formula. You can’t have a group full of “bad boys” or a whole bunch of “hot ones.” Variety is the spice of life, and really of any group of individuals that gets together for a common goal. Think about your running buddies! They all have distinct personalities, but here you all are, doing the same thing at the same time. Harmonizing! After all, isn’t running really one big choreographed dance of sorts? So the question is: which boy band member are you and which ones are your running buddies? Read on!

The Bad Boy

Everyone loves the bad boy, right? Swoon. The tattoos. The devil-may-care attitude. The rebellion. The mystery.

The bad boy (or girl) running buddy can be magical. They are the ones who encourage you to follow the road less traveled and getting away from your comfortable same-old trails. Maybe they have an interesting past, or at least an interesting tattoo. They always have a story to tell and unique perspective on life, and they definitely make your running group look just a little cooler. Think A.J. McLean from the Backstreet Boys or Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids on the Block. For our younger boy band fans, think of Zayn from One Direction.

By the way, all the photos in this post were taken by yours truly at actual Backstreet Boys concerts. YOU’RE WELCOME.

The Hot One/Dreamboat

You love this guy/gal, but sometimes you hate them a little. You know: the one who can crush a difficult track workout and still finish their cooldown run looking like a freakin’ model? The short shorts do not wear them, they WEAR the short shorts. Whenever you take a post-run group photo, you always make sure you stand far, far away from this person. They are not only dreamy, they’re usually also really nice and also talented. It makes them impossible to truly loathe. (Am I the only one now picturing Justin Timberlake in short running shorts? Or Jordan Knight from NKOTB? Sigh….)

The Boy Next Door

Everybody loves this person! They are kind, humble, and have the most beautiful singing voice. They are the band member you can bring home to meet your parents! In running terms, these are the great runners who just don’t brag about it. They put the hard work in with little complaint. Their medals are hidden in their closets, maybe even donated. They bring joy to your running group and are quick with a laugh, quirky story, or joke. Be careful with these people, they steal your heart subtly! Think Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys or Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block.

The Strong, Silent One

They may not say a word, but their presence brings you comfort. Perhaps they are the mature one of the group, the voice of reason. There is an air of mystery to these members, different from the mystery of the “bad boy/girl.” Perhaps we are just used to spilling our guts when we run with friends? The strong, silent one is there to provide a listening ear, but you will hear minimal details on their private lives. Whenever you feel like giving up, they possess a steadiness that keeps you going. You just want to please them and make them proud! Think Lance Bass from N*SYNC or Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet Boys.

The Silly One

Every running group needs one of these. How else can tough track intervals and tempo runs be made more bearable? They wear the funny get-ups and costume themselves gloriously for themed runs. Think Joey Fatone from N*SYNC, Louis Tomlinson from One Direction, or Danny Wood from the New Kids on the Block as some of your silliest boy banders. They were always the ones making faces in the background while another member gave a serious interview. Maybe they weren’t the cutest one in the band, but gosh darnit, humor is sexy!

The Baby

Chronologically, there has to be a youngest member of the group. In the Backstreet Boys, it is Nick Carter. In One Direction, Harry Styles. In N*SYNC, it is Justin Timberlake. In your running group, it is that person with perpetual energy. They are always down to go for a run. You have a 10 miler? No problem, they can join! Hard interval workout? They will join you, and probably run it faster than you! You envy their youthful energy!

The Glue

These people are the center of your band or running group. They keep everyone on track and held accountable, make sure everyone is feeling good, and are typically the most responsible ones in the group. They are often the purveyors of the post-run snacks. Think Howie from the Backstreet Boys or JC Chasez from N*SYNC. They may not have been the “superstar” of the groups, but the band would not survive without them.

Not every boy band has each of these personality stereotypes, and neither does your running gang. Many people can encompass more than one of these particular personalities! Have some fun and take a good hard look around you on your next run!

Are you running with the boy or girl next door? The mysterious one? Do you perhaps play one of these roles?ย We all have our roles to play in this world! Don’t run away from them! Embrace them!

A born and raised Hoosier running to stay sane. I've done 5Ks to marathons, but am currently running to enjoy running. I'm an orthopedic physical therapist, with clinical specialization in treating people with vestibular disorders. Other things I specialize in? Knowing the lyrics to every Backstreet Boys song and being an awesome cat mom! Living with Crohn's disease, but trying to show it who really is the boss.

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