Friday, 31 October 2008

Running and me

There’s a funny post up at Booze Hounds Inc about how runners brag about their running and just generally annoy the people in their daily life with the ins and outs of it all. Now, I don’t doubt I annoy the hell out of the people in my life on a daily basis, but I realized while reading the post that I actually try not to talk about my running in real life.

Running is quite personal for me. When I took up running almost a year ago, I was just emerging from a rather dark period in my life. Full of anger at both myself and others, I needed to channel that energy into something productive. Enter running.

Running saved me. It’s a total cliche to say that, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I had become a person that I not only didn’t like but was actually repulsed by. How could I have let things get so bad? That doesn’t really matter now. The point is, without running, I might still be that person, trapped in a mire of my own making. That’s not something I like to contemplate.

So I run. And when I get back from a run, I clean off, put my running gear away and continue on with the day. Of course, living in this environment, people do notice my comings and goings and the fitness attire that I wear for my runs. I’m asked about it and, uncomfortably, I respond with the truth. When I discover I’m speaking to a fellow runner, some of my tension eases a bit and we’ll have a nice chat but I still continue to hide things. Things like training for a marathon.

Obviously, many people here now know I’m training for a marathon. Having to excuse myself from a weekend excursion is difficult if I don’t explain that my four-hour long run is going to put me out of commission for about a day. And I hate to lie outright by giving some lame-ass excuse. Lie by omission? Sure, you betcha, but I’m not often allowed to get away with that.

It’s the reactions I hate the most. They range from surprise and incomprehension to awe. I don’t want any of it. I don’t want to have to justify myself to the confused and I find the admiration of the others to be oppressive.

Running is my own private joy which I do for completely selfish reasons. I don’t want to share it.

Why then do I blather to you all about it day in and day out? Well, you all are special. (In probably more than one way, but I won’t go there.) In part, it’s because you all understand. You have gone or are going through the same things so there’s that sense of camaraderie which is quite comforting. It’s also nice that most of you don’t know me in the real world. You have no idea what life I’ve led or what kind of baggage I carry around with me. That anonymity, however illusory, helps me enormously.

This is not to say I won’t ever outgrow these feelings and become more like you braggarts one day. Hell, if I finish the marathon in one piece, one of the first things I’m going to do is update my much-neglected Facebook page to say something charming like ‘Xenia just finished running the Florence marathon. What have you losers done today?’ It’ll be nice payback for all those twits from high school who feel compelled to track me down online just so they can brag about how great their lives are. Seriously, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about you back then so why should I care now that you’re married and have produced a squalling brat from your loins.* Hey, wanna see my race medal?

So, yeah. Sorry about the over-sentimentality. I guess I just needed to get it off my chest. Also, I didn’t have much to say today anyways and hadn’t planned on posting at all. You can now all blame Viper for this maudlin post. I know I do.

Happy Halloween, everyone. Enjoy your weekend.

*Not that these aren’t accomplishments, they very much are. I just don’t care for most of the people I went to high school with.

25 comments:

Jenn said...

Xenia! I feel so blessed to be included in your virtual world. I totally understand why you keep it to yourself and also why you feel that you can share with us so easily. We love hearing every single word of it too!

Take Care,
and Happy Halloween,
Jenn

joyRuN said...

I understand the differentiation between this little community & the real world. I've had a perverse comfort in unloading to folks I've never seen/met.

Damn Viper ;)

Melanie said...

although i've had the great opportunity to meet a few bloggers, but for the most part, my two worlds are separate too. congrats on finding the joys and benefits of running... and good luck in your upcoming marathon!

marie said...

People get annoyed with our running stories?! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!

I do love that it's a personal thing to you.

Like I always say, I run for me and me alone.

Brooke said...

beautiful post!

Ms. V. said...

Fantastic post. Loved the squalling brat line, and the injection of the *wanna see my medal?*

Great job...

RazZDoodle said...

I'm with ya 1000%.

Have a great weekend!

MCM Mama said...

I agree. That's why I blog about running - so my IRL friends don't have to hear about it.

While I was running the marathon though, my husband was putting updates on my facbook LOL. Finishing the marathon was one of the few times I've REALLY felt the need to say "hey, look what I did". Now I'll go back to my quiet running and doing my own thing and the only people who will hear about it are my family and those who read my blog.

Marci said...

I am very similar in the fact I don't talk about running very much with non-running folk.
Have a great weekend!

Lily on the Road said...

I (We) *heart* you no matter the past, present or future...we ALL have baggage girlie, some more than others, albeit, we don't share all of it.

I am so glad that you feel comfortable with me *us* in the virtual world...and please know we are only a click away!

Lucky for me, I surrounded myself with people who understand the craziness of running in my real life, for those whose eyes glaze over when I talk to them, they are being weeded from my list....

Happy Halloween Girlfriend, have a great weekend!!

Count of Monte Christo said...

Yep! Very true... The people I speak to about running are torn between the wish to be decent and the urge to be honest (and shut me up). Running bloggers have a common interest. Most of them try to avoid annoying the people around them, and, personally, I love to read of and about my fellow running-blogger's exploits. It is a way to keep in touch with the running-world in between training-days.

Still, I think that training for, and doing a marathon definitely earns you the kudos required to do some bragging!

tfh said...

Running is pretty much my therapy, and although some would say that the fact that certain runs leave me in tears or (more often) on a tremendous high is a sign that I need Real Therapy, I just say-- look, it's working.

"Running is my private joy" I very much like.

And p.s. I would be TOTALLY JEALOUS of you if I were your high school classmate. Seriously. I AM jealous of you. Adding the Florence Marathon to the list of things we should envy you for is almost cruel! And if anybody HASN'T gone through a period they wish they could erase from their personal history, they better worry about what the future holds...best to get it over with early!

tfh said...

OH, and I'm a crazy commenter today, but we both mentioned LOINS on our most recent blog entries, independently of one another. Awesome.

Merry said...

BCB mentioned that today is the one-year anniversary of Margaret's passing. That reminded brought into focus how easy it is to get attached to our 'imaginary' friends on the Internet.
Forget high school, what you (we) have now is so much more important that you (we all) are incredibly blessed.

Vanilla said...

I blame Viper for a lot of things.

I enjoyed reading your post today.

Xenia said...

Vanilla--As should we all. And thanks.

chia said...

*tear* I'm with you sista. We should so be Facebook friends. At least we'll know that every status change dealing with running will be understood by at least ONE friend ;-)

Frayed Laces said...

Yeah my friends are so over my running. That's what my blog is for. I know all of us love to talk about running!

Merry said...

Oh, and if you know anyone who might need plus-size workout wear, the Cranky Fitness giveaway this week is for $100 gift certificate at Junonia.
(Yes, I'm shamelessly using your blog to promote my blog, but I thought this was kinda neat.)

BCB said...

Running? OMG! You RUN? I thought all you did was DIG.

[kidding kidding kidding]

I'm taking a break from my own 30 Days of Something About Which to Procrastinate -- is it really only the first day? -- and came over to say "hi!" I think it's cool that you're planning to do a marathon -- not because it's a marathon, but because it's something challenging that you want to do and you are By God doing it. It could have been ironing sheets for the Queen's Navy, but I guess running a marathon works as a major accomplishment too.

What I am really impressed by is that you're doing it in Florence. Running, that is. In Florence.

Okay, break over. Hang in there kid, you're a lot tougher than you know.

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO HAHHAA Love the 9th paragraph! That's the hotness!

28 more days?! Dang girl that baby is coming up FAST!! WHOOOO HOOOOO ;D ;D

Viper said...

Always glad to help.

Jess said...

My friends are still pretty excited about my running especially when I do stuff like marathons....they like to brag to all their friends they know a marathoner lol

Viv said...

Great post Xenia, girl feel free to get things off you your chestisis they make for a killer post, not that your other are'nt you know what I mean.

Meg said...

Catching up. :) I understand how you feel. I bet a lot of us don't talk to many "real life" people about our running or our goals. That's what's great about being able to spill it out to each other here!