What I really want to tell you... (#1)
Do you listen to the Running On Om podcast? If you don't, you really should; you need not be a runner to enjoy it because Julia Hanlon, the host, brings amazing individuals of all backgrounds to the interview table and I'm consistently left in awe after each episode. Once a month, she records a question and answer session with professional athlete/writer/co-owner of Picky Bars/amazing human Lauren Fleshman; in a recent episode, they discussed a writing prompt that stuck with me.
Set a two-minute timer and write on the prompt "What I really want to tell you..." and then immediately follow it with a five-minute writing session on "The part I am leaving out is..." and provide yourself with the space to see what happens. So, I'll periodically post some of my reflections in this format because I really enjoy it.
What I really want to tell you…is that I feel very nervous and anxious when I notice you've asked people to run with you because you share what paces you’ll be running and I immediately realize that there’s no way I could ever run with you. I feel frustrated and less than; I feel like I’m not worth what others, those who are faster than I am, are worth. I begin to wonder what it would mean to be a faster runner, if it would somehow provide me with access to some special, elite club, like those people who have millions of airline miles and they get to sit in the special seating area of the airport.
The part I am leaving out is…that none of this really matters because I prefer to run alone, and maybe the fact that I can’t keep up with you is a way for me to feel better about refusing to share my running time with you. Running is one of the only times when I feel confident in myself, proud of my body and what it does for me, excited to see the progress that I make each day, just by getting out the door to participate in an activity that is mine and that requires no assistance or collaboration or feedback from anyone else; there are no rules. I am free to do as I please, and it doesn’t matter what you think about it because I’m proud of my accomplishments and no one can take them away from me. I’ve experienced a lot of things that you’ll never understand, and I probably won’t tell you about them because those are mine, too. I am happy with the knowledge that I am a wonderful, worthwhile human being, just the way I am, and I don’t need to change unless I want to create a different outcome. I am good enough, today, at my current pace and in my skin and I will surround myself with those who will celebrate that with me.