If you feel like my writing lately has been littered with descriptions of random, seemingly unrelated events, you would be correct. Today is no exception. Please don’t leave, I promise I have a point today YAY.
A few months ago I was talking with a couple new friends (who didn’t know about my blog) and one of them said “sometimes I want to start a fitness blog but (insert boyfriend’s name here) thinks it’s lame and a waste of time and that people who post about their workouts are narcissistic.”
Well, okay then.
I didn’t even say a word. And I hate that I didn’t.
Minus Twitter, I don’t really talk or post about my blog openly. Even though I love running and writing, I’ve kept quiet when it comes to people I know in real life. Some people are very vocal and incapable of practicing restraint when it comes to sharing their feelings, so, I’ve avoided the subject. Other people are extremely supportive and loving but feelings of vulnerability always stopped me.
I’d rather have strangers know everything about me than people who actually know me. Which totally makes sense. (LIES.) I wonder about my “non-running friends” who follow me on social media. The first time someone googled my full name and “Kara Runs” I was like OH MY GOD THEY’VE FOUND ME WHAT A DISASTER. When I think about people “finding me out”, I get all antsy and itchy like I’m laying in a pile of hay. And no one likes to lay in a pile of hay. (<—You can take the girl out of Iowa…but she’ll still reference random farm things.)
The good news for the people who hate this kind of thing is that my body is all like “you’re 30 and you need lots of warming up and then still you can only run approximately 5 miles depending on what day it is. Good luck when you’re 60, LOLZ…” so I’m not posting too much on social media. Congrats, you get to enjoy lots of beach pictures.
But then I started thinking about it a little harder. You know, the psychology of it all. I’m randomly interested in psychology lately.
You know what I do when I’m lacking motivation on a Saturday morning?
(pause for dramatic effect. everyone loves dramatic writing amiright?)
I scroll through Twitter and read about people’s long runs. I look on Instagram to find inspiring words of wisdom. I read blog posts. Its strangely therapeutic to me when there’s someone else feeling what I’m feeling or doing something I want to do and sharing their experiences. I don’t care how fast you are, whether you struggled or excelled, whether its your first or 1,000th time running. Just being out there getting it done is inspiring to me.
When I decided I was going to jump into this blogging thing 5 years ago, all I knew is that I liked reading other runners’ blogs and wanted a place to write in my own voice.
I was also unemployed and bored. #smalldetails
But I could never shake the fact that I’m completely average when it comes to running. I’m not the fastest or strongest or most motivated. When I see people – who aren’t as outwardly obsessed with running as I am – go out and run a 3:10 marathon, I’m like:
I’m encouraged by other people, no matter their speed or level…but why am I so harsh on myself? I truly didn’t think anyone would ever read what I wrote because in my head, I wasn’t good enough to have value. Both with writing and running. Because of that fear, I actively tried to hide my blog from friends for a long time. I used to actually cut my head off in photos (JUST IN PHOTOS SILLY DON’T WORRY) so people I knew didn’t discover me. But I still strangely hoped everyone else would read and ultimately see how sports and fitness can positively change your life, even in the tiniest ways and even for average runners like me.
So, my deep question is: WTF? The slightly harsher New Yorker in me knows this is a bullshit reason to hide, so, why am I still hiding?
Like high schoolers learn these days, everything stays on the internet and there’s no way to really hide. Nothing is secretive and if you think it should be a secret, you probz shouldn’t be posting about it on a blog. I apparently didn’t learn this in high school, probably because “the internet” back then was Prodigy and Encarta and the snake game, which reminds me I totally need to go find an app for that because it was my favorite.
In attempts to answer my own question, I think about the advice I’d give to people who ask me about starting a blog. Or what I say to people who worry about the opinions of others. “WHO THE F CARES.” Let the haters judge you. This is your world. If you can bring value to someone (and yes, you CAN, no matter who you are) then you owe it to those people to do so. And the ones who don’t like it can A) stop reading and unfollow and B) re-read A.
At the end of the day, I’m consistent (errr when not injured) and knowledgeable and I work hard. I LOVE running and writing about it. I’ve had a few people tell me they started running because I inspired them a teensy bit, or that I eased their fears about tackling their first Ironman. That makes me unbelievably happy. It’s humbling.
I’m making a point to no longer censor myself because I’m worried about what people might think. And no offense, but if you feel inclined to judge, well, you can just ride your high horse off into the sunset and suck it. (It’s okay to say that because I said “no offense”.)
I’m excited to move forward. As excited as if Amy Schumer herself showed up at my apartment each week with a supply of wine ready to run next to me and tell me jokes during long runs. (We’ll drink the wine after.) THAT’S ALOT OF EXCITEMENT.
For now, shoutout to my strangers-turned-friends who I’ve met through blogging. You help me remember exactly why I set out to write, and because of you, I feel less vulnerable and more confident than ever. Slowly but surely, you’ve help me blocked out the negativity and be a little truer to myself (as cheesy as that sounds).
What do you struggle with when it comes to blogging? How do you move past it?