I’ve had my fair share of running blogs. And non-running blogs. I’ll pour my heart (and training) out to the world for a few months and then get this scary feeling inside that tempts me to want to hit the “delete blog” button as well as deactivate my Facebook account, slipping back under the radar. And my bedroom comforter.
How did we celebrate our accomplishments and achievements before the internet? I’m young, but not that young to remember how it was done in the late 80s and early 90s. The Neighborhood News was my (very) local newspaper. I remember reading about the little league baseball world series held at the ballpark down the street or my older neighbor’s wedding engagement. I longed for the day that I could be mentioned in the paper for something. My dream came true by surprise in high school when my mom sent them a write up about me winning my 15-19 year old age group at a local 5k. Such big news back then for a small town paper would now be small time news for the entire world to see. Aint it funny?
Prior to joining the Salty team, I distanced myself from blogging about my running for roughly 9 months. I switched to a calendar-type running log under a name that might have been hard to find. I wanted to, well, run away. Hide what I was doing and just train the old-fashioned way. At times I even toyed with going back to a paper and pen log but I was hooked on having the computer add up mileage for me. Yeah, math was never my forte.
During my retreat, I ran my fastest times in races and workouts. I even stayed injury free for six months! But then I got hungry again. I liked what I was reading when Salty launched the first version of our site. And then the ideas started flowing. I felt like I was beginning to embark on a new route with my fitness and what better way to share in the journey of getting faster than to blog about it? I got the writer’s high in the first week, pumping out 2-3 articles ahead of schedule. I was even excited to share my training log in a new medium.
Two weeks in, I became injured.
Feelings of inadequacy and uselessness set in. They’re never going to believe that I ran 40 miles a week this winter! They’re gonna think I’m making it up that I’m injured! They’re gonna think that I’m not that serious of a runner! They’re gonna think I’m a sissy when it comes to pain!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that I’m quite the insecure being. Yet, each day at my job, I help build people up to realize their strengths in the midst of adversity. Even the smallest of achievements deserve praise. Hell, praise for just being. One of the greatest joys for me is seeing a person smile after you just paid them a compliment that they didn’t expect. But outside of work and on the interwebs, I can get overly critical in my head. Quit bragging about your kid. Big whoop that you ran that half marathon. I can do it faster. So what you got the job. Lucky.
I feel judged by others. Therefore, I judge others.
The other day, I posted a Facebook status about receiving my professional counselor license. I was feeling a sense of pride, a desire to share it to the world, or at least with a few hundred of my “friends”. I didn’t have to think twice about hitting send. I didn’t care how many likes and comments it would generate. I was happy. And I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. It was in that moment then that I realized, whom am I to criticize others for wanting to also shout from the rooftops?
Maybe I’ve read too many Letsrun message boards, where it’s nearly a requirement to be critical of others. But getting these uncomfortable thoughts off my chest helps me to see that I just shouldn’t care so much. So what if I haven’t done a long run in over eight weeks? So what if I only ran ten miles this week? So what if I still haven’t broken 22 minutes in the 5k? And so what if I never do?
I’m not running away from the internet this time because I’m finally brave enough to be me. I am writing to share knowledge that I am confident in having in an effort to maybe help someone else. I am also writing to share my defeats, the lessons learned so that maybe someone else can relate or not make the same mistakes. And when the time comes, I’m writing to share my accomplishments. Whether it’s a local newspaper or the world wide web, there’s nothing to be ashamed of here. To me, blogging and social media have become this great, big community where we can all share a little bit of ourselves with each other. A place where we can learn and grow, even if it feels uncomfortable at times.
It takes a brave soul to be loud. Rawr!
What about you? Do you get jittery after publishing an article? Do you long for the good ol’ days before the Internet? Why do you blog?