"a form of insanity, a niggling madness, a never-ending, glorious hellbitch of a race that you can never, ever win.....that wildly addictive and yet totally nightmarish sociocultural dance whereby you are constantly being attached by the overwhelming sense that so many wonderful, life-altering events are happening all around....in any given moment that, well, there is simply no way to attend them all [ resulting in ] the overwhelming feeling that you are, right now, missing out on some miraculous experience that is quite possibly the coolest thing ever to happen to anyone, ever."
My first introduction to the concept of FOMO came from my good friend Bryon Powell of iRunFar.com fame. I can't quite remember the exact situation that brought him to mention not doing a particular event simply due to suffering from a terrible case of FOMO, but it certainly arose out of a discussion that centered around whether or not to add a particular event to my calendar, taking into consideration my current level of training, fitness and preparedness. Recently I saw what I believe to be a prime example of FOMO in a runner that has been unsuccessful in a few attempts at the 100-mile distance - deciding whether to withdraw from another attempt at a 100-mile race finish vs.entering a 72-hour event. What was particularly interesting to me about the process of this person's justification to forgo a first-time 100-mile finish to instead head for the more difficult (at least to me) realm of a 72-hour event were the references to the "social aspect" of the 72-hour event course (it is a 0.8 mile loop) and to being "not as lonely." Not that there is anything wrong with that justification - I suppose we can spend our money as we like, enter whatever events we like, train as we like, and so on and so forth. But, what this particular example did was get me to think about my own racing plans, and whether or not I was, yet again, suffering myself from a nasty case of FOMO.