Yeah……No. I’m Not Letting This One Go…Yet

A couple of weeks ago I received an email about one of my favorite blogger’s latest post.  The title of Olive To Run’s latest literary bit of genius caught my eye as I had seen the same subject pop up on Twitter.  Runner’s World had released an article about whether or not you should encourage another runner when you pass him/her.  Forgive me if you’ve already read this subject to death, but I feel compelled to throw my two paws into the ring on this one.

runners world

After reading both sides of the argument, I actually agree.  With both of them.  Here’s why.  And forgive me if my opinion offends thee.

Scott Martin (and no, I’m pretty sure it’s not the Scott Martin I went to high school with), was having one of “those” races.  You know the type.  We all have them.  The kind where we question why we didn’t just stay in bed that morning.  Martin was begging for mercy from a hill two miles into the race and got passed by a kid.  Now, that right there would be enough to aggravate me.  My fragile ego has a hard time dealing with much younger kiddies passing me during any race.  Honestly.  It just ticks me off.  Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of my weird idiosyncrasies.  But if I had been in the same position as Martin and been passed by a kid who sounded like he was out for a Sunday stroll, at the most inopportune time, and was called “sir”, yeah…I’d be crushed too.  Along with quite a few other not-so-kind adjectives.

mad bull

*&*%$#@^*!!!

Now don’t be mistaken – I’m all for a well-timed attaboy or you got this.  I just don’t want it coming from some young, speedy gazelle who’s making my sweat-laden odor-rific effort look like it’s entirely unnecessary.  The only thing that will encourage is my will to go all-out ninja.  And kick you.  Hard.

Hi-YA!

Hi-YA!

HOWEVER…far be it for me to turn down a well-intentioned pat on the back from a fellow Team runDisney-er, WI.S.H.-er or anyone else who is at least legally old enough to enjoy the nuances of a well-constructed margarita, glass of Cabernet, or homemade brownie and ice cream.

wine and ice cream1

I’ll be the first one to encourage someone who looks like they’re having a crappy race, regardless of how much of a mess I am.  That’s what makes this insanity so much fun.  Camaraderie and encouragement is what keeps us going, whether it be during a race, in training, or on social media.  I love reading about peeps who just went out for their very first run ever.  Or someone who nailed a PR.  Or about a young girl who walks with crutches and completed a 5k.  Now THAT is the kind of stuff encouragement is made for.  And THAT is why runner’s efforts should always be acknowledged.  Unless of course, you’re not old enough to buy a beer.  Yet.

My fake ID didn't work.

My fake ID didn’t work.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Are you open to encouragement?  From anyone?  Do you freely offer it?

 

Why Be So Mean?

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across this blog post.  The author is a photographer based in Kentucky who is doing his best to try to lose weight.  He’s also been a victim of bullying.  What he saw in his gym that prompted him to write this post is simply heartbreaking.  I’m not going to reiterate what he witnessed, instead I’m just going to encourage you to read his post.  Especially my readers who teach – I think there’s a very good lesson to be learned here.

To give you the short version, the author witnessed an overweight woman working out.  As she was doing so, she was being “slyly” photographed by another 20-something woman.  The author could see where this was going – right to Facebook – accompanied no doubt by some rude, hurtful comments.  Without giving anything away, let’s just say the author kept it from happening.  You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see how.

The author’s point was far from lost on me and gave me a newfound respect for those who are fighting for a healthier life.  The question is then – why do those who choose to change their lives get picked on by others?

why-1

On a day home from work, (thanks in no small part to some alien stomach bug), I went on a Netflix documentary roll.  One of those films was The Bully Project.  If you haven’t seen it, then have a box of tissues ready before you do.  It’s nothing short of devastating.  Kids in schools being beat up, taunted and humiliated, to the point that they take their own lives, their families left to pick up the pieces.  Had I behaved as badly as the perpetrators in this film, I never would have seen the light of day.  Why do these kids think it’s okay to treat another human being like they’re nothing?  Are the parents so out of touch with what their kids are up to that they never notice how they treat others?  Are these the kids who grow up to think it’s okay to take pictures of big people trying to make themselves healthier and do nothing more than embarrass them?

crying

If you’ve been following my little corner of the internet here, then you know I like to keep things fun and light-hearted.  Sometimes though, when something I see, hear, or read, leaves a strong impression, I feel compelled to throw my two cents in.  And hope that maybe my venting in my little corner of the world, makes an impression on someone else.

bullying-stop-sign

As athletes, I think it’s imperative that we not only encourage others to physically live a healthy lifestyle, but set a positive example for others to follow as well.  We have a great opportunity at every race, training run, or gym session to encourage others.  Having been in that position numerous times myself, I can’t tell you how much that pat on the back or a simple smile can lift both your spirits and your pace. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the reason for that smile?

Thanks for listening.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever been the victim of bullying?  Or if not, what would you do if you saw someone else being picked on?