Monday, August 20, 2007
Running should be something that is enjoyed without comment, whistles, tooting from cars/trucks, harassment or any other kind of unwanted and unsolicited attention. This isn’t most often the case. It seems that for some unknown reason, certain individuals find the need to step into my running moment with their attention seeking behaviour.
As for the most part, I run alone and I enjoy using my iPod to motivate me. The music is at a level that I can hear what is going on around me. I am acutely aware of my environment and can hear this unwanted attention.
Most often when any of the above happens I am on the road running and the passing car/person is not anyone that I would ever see again. I let it pass and just continue on with my exercise.
However, when the incident happens on my own patch, closer to home, and someplace that I run frequently I don’t let it slide so easily. This is indeed what happened to me recently.
I had gone out for an easy paced run and had completed the steep hill climb back up into my village and only had about a half mile remaining. I noticed an older man standing in his open doorway and saw that he said something. Being polite and not wanting to just ignore him I turned off my music and said excuse me. He then proceeded to insult me. I couldn’t believe my ears and told him he wasn’t very nice and went on with my run.
His rudeness lingered on with me for the remainder of my run. Once home, I knew that I would be following up with a visit back to him with a face to face discussion and note. With the prepared note below I went round to his house.
I am the athlete who ran past your house this morning. I was finishing up a 3.5 mile recovery (meaning slower) run to prepare me for a 10K race that I will be taking part in this weekend. You were standing in your doorway and said something to me. I stopped, turned off my music so I could hear you. You pointed to me and said, “fat” I replied, “Excuse me?” You then repeated it and pointed to your stomach then mine, saying “you’re fat”.
I don’t even know you, and you don’t know me, so why would you interrupt my morning exercise to make such a rude and thoughtless comment? I am absolutely shocked! My reply back to you was, “That isn’t a nice thing to say!” and I returned to finishing my run.
I run to make myself a healthier person, not be subjected to the sort of remarks that you made. I am insulted by your words. Your very unkind and hurtful words were those that most often come out of the mouth of someone much younger than you. Age should make someone wiser, not be used as excuse to say whatever is wanted. “Think before speaking” is a very wise adage and one that you might consider using.
I am an athlete and I run because I can.”
The man looked shocked to see me back again. I made sure he remembered me even though I was all showered and changed from earlier. He quickly and abruptly apologized to me if he had hurt my feelings. I told him he did and that what he said wasn’t nice at all. He said he was only trying to be funny. I told him that what he said wasn’t funny. He mentioned he was 90 and I told him that should be even more of a reason for him to not say something like he did. I told him I lived in the village and would most likely run past his house again and didn’t want to hear any other comments like that ever again. He said he wished he could do what I was doing. I told him THAT is the type of comment I would much rather hear than what he had said.
I think he was shocked by the fact that I came back to his house, stood my ground against his bullying comment, and confronted him. Maybe he is used to saying things without any consequence to his action. Maybe he is a lonely person who just is mad at everything and takes it out on whoever is passing by. Maybe he is just rude and has always been that way. Maybe he just felt safe standing on his own doorstep and saying anything he felt like to anyone whenever he felt like it, without any consequence. Whatever the reason, I don’t think he will be making comments like that again to me and hopefully anyone else!
Monday, August 13, 2007
My life as it is today is far from ordinary. In my humble opinion, when I compare it to what my life used to be....it is extrodinary!
I do work flex hours as I work in our business that is based at home. I am able to run just about any time of day I choose. I am able to participate in races from a 5k up to a Marathon. I take walks with the dogs that on the usual are about 2.5 miles. A 5 mile run for me now is a short run.
How did these changes happen? Over the course of five years I have transformed myself into an athlete. A woman who doesn't just sit around and read, watch TV or spend excess time on the computer. I get up, get out and go. I have run races in the USA, England, Wales, Scotland, and The Republic of Ireland. I now make sure that I pack running clothes when we go on vacation. I think I have more running clothes then regular clothes. The people in the village I live in when they see me walking ask "You're not running today?" or they are surprised to see me without running clothes on and they don't even recognize me.
Nope, my life is not ordinary and I don't want it to be. I want it to be so extrodinary that it is blinding! I am not content to just be. There is so much to do, so little time and I don't want to miss a thing!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. - George Bernard Shaw
This is a new thought for me. I had heard the saying "gotta find myself" ages ago, but didn't realize that it's about creating myself. That's a cool concept.
I might not be too thrilled with the me I "find" as that is where I am at a certain time. It's like looking for something that is lost and hunting and hunting until it is found. Nope.. I do like the idea of creating, of making something new, of reshaping, of changing. Makes me think of a painting, or a piece of clay, or an empty vase....of the artist or craftperson's hands turning something plain into something of a masterpiece.
After all....I am a masterpiece in the making. I am creating something new and fantastic. I looked at what I have and decided to do a DIY on me and created a grand design! So far, so good!
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