I read something earlier this morning that seemed to stick with me for the rest of the day, and I’m still trying to work through why it’s still on my mind. I was reading a thread on a running forum, about someone’s blog post. The post was a race recap, about the WDW marathon. I’ve read several different blog posts about the WDW marathon, and love reading them all, all different points of view, all interesting. The blogger had been swept at the 21st mile mark, but was happy with her result, as her personal goal was to make it at least half way before being swept. The thread in the forum quickly turned into a two-sided debate about criticism of the blogger’s lack of training vs. the fact that she had made it 21 miles, an achievement in and of itself.
The blog post, and the debate about the blog post got me thinking about different people’s goals when signing up for a race, and the mindset of racing vs. running. Some people were truly scalding in their criticism, I would imagine they are of the “race purist” type. I understand the pressure upon one’s self when registering for a race, but I’m trying to wrap my head around criticizing someone else’s intentions. I certainly want to “race”, I’m not the type to be content just to cross the finish line, and this is despite the fact that I consider myself to be a “plodder”, I plod along during longer distances, but I am still trying to go the fastest I can physically manage for that distance. Maybe it is the fact that, along with being a plodder I am also a newbie, so who am I to criticize other people’s finish times? Is it considered wrong, or bad form for someone to be content with finishing, rather than racing?
I think it’s more than being a newbie however, I get a very real sense of deja vu while reading criticism of people’s choices when it comes to race day strategy and goals. It reminds me of the criticism thrown from all sides over so many different parenting decisions. Parents who feel so very strongly about breast feeding/attachment parenting/staying at home/discipline/organic food/whatever. I guess it just makes me feel sad. I’m having trouble coming up with a better word for it than that.
How I truly feel is “More power to you!” for the brave (imo) lady who started the WDW marathon, knowing that she was under-trained, and went TWENTY ONE miles that day. I drove a seven mile route today that I want to incorporate into my weekend run. At the end of the drive I sat there thinking to myself that I couldn’t actually believe how far that was in the car, and that is slightly insane to run, step by step, that same distance. That blogger women did three times that distance. Wow. I don’t care if she walked or sprinted it, 21 miles is one heck of a distance, step by step.
I also feel “More power to you!” to all parents, for sticking their neck out and actually making decisions each day while parenting. The parents who care enough to research the different options, and choose one. It’s far too easy to, like a deer caught in headlights, freeze when it comes to the tangled web of choices, and make no choice at all, just coasting along in a wishy-washy type of way. It is far, far harder to make a choice, and try to stick with it, try to defend it to others who have different opinions, and defend it to children who call you “mean Mummy”…. This would be in reference to the 7:30pm bedtime my six and eight year old children have. Yes, it shocks people when they hear that (I guess it’s considered early?). Luckily, I am the Honey Badger, and I don’t care about other people’s opinions. Running and parenting, parenting and running. They are like anything in life, everyone has their own opinion on the “right” way.
So I guess this is something of a rant or ponderance, I suppose I’m just not a fan of taking my life philosophy, and applying it to someone else’s life. The whole “until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” and all that. Or run a mile in someone else’s shoes, as this case may be. My little runner’s prayer for everyone this week is that whatever your goals, whatever your pace, whatever your distance, you appreciate the wonderful miracle, that you are running. That your body is moving, and growing stronger with each step you take. No one’s opinion on the hows or the whys matters a dot when you close your eyes and think of those last few steps of your run, that smile you get when you finish a run that seemed impossible at some point. Whether that run is 1 mile, or 21, you have my “More power to you!”.