There is something so pleasing

in witnessing a runner with an impressive pace suddenly stop. This halting reveals that the speed was not, in fact, an impressive pace, but rather a weak finishing kick.

There is something also quite pleasing in seeing a runner needlessly pause at a crosswalk. They’ll posture like they were forced to stop by the bad luck of the oncoming traffic; they may even jog in place trying to prove the cosmic unfairness of it all. We are not fooled. You needed to rest.

I guess these pleasures stem from being reminded of one’s own “goodness” in comparison. Maybe running isn’t your thing and so these examples escape you. That’s fine. Just think of where you do excel and what happens when others don’t measure up. There’s some relatable delight to be found in this exploration. More universally, this pleasant sensation drives the consumption of “Fall from Grace” stories, blooper reels, and reality TV (when people behave stupidly).