March 28, 2014

Friday Five: Core Values of the Running Community

This week, there has been a lot of hubbub in the online running community.  A girl bandited a race, bragged about it and posted an obnoxious blog post. There have been two lottery drawings for major marathons that have resulted in smiles and disappointments.  A big women's "healthy living" magazine posted a photo demeaning female runners for running in tutus.  To be completely honest, I’ve turned off social media for chunks of time because it’s simply been too much chaos for me to absorb when I’m trying to manage my work week and enjoy some time with friends.  I’ve reflected on all of this at great length and I wanted to use today’s Friday Five to share some of my thoughts on what the running community embodies (or should embody!).


1. Health: It’s a well-known fact that running provides endless physical and mental benefits.  I know I run for the opportunity to stay fit, to challenge myself physically, and to stay sane.  Health is the absolute number one reason that I run. 

2. Fun: There’s an old adage that goes something like “if it’s not fun why do it?” and I think this is spot on for running.  I enjoy running…or at least most of the time.  I have made countless friends and enjoy the thrill of experiencing new places on foot.


3. Achievement: Most (if not all) runners have achieved something at one point that they never believed possible.  A 5k, half marathon, BQ, sub-2:00 half marathon, new PRs, 26.2, and the list could go on and on.  Let’s celebrate other’s achievements and be proud of them (and ourselves).  As we all know, it’s no easy feat to set a goal and achieve it.  


4. Humility: On the heels of achievement, this may come as a surprise.  My grandfather used to stress this to me frequently and I try hard to remember his words.  At times I’ve felt this trait can be a bit absent from the running community but it’s one I want to emphasize.  We all work hard to get out the door and run and with that, we can all use a little dose of humility every now and then.  Social media just makes it more challenging.  It can be easy to get caught up in the madness of new time goals, new races or new PRs.  We don’t always need to post our training splits, our new expensive workout equipment, our latest running gear purchase or the free thing someone decided to give us.  I’m guilty of all of these things and I think it’s worth remembering that 99% of these things don’t define us as runners.  I’m working hard to adhere to my Grampy’s guidance. 

5. Encouragement: You can’t have enough encouragement nor can you give enough encouragement.  It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running, where you race or what your pace is to know this important tidbit.  A little pick me up can help get you out the door and sending some good vibes to a friend might help them through a challenging training run or race.  Above all else, let’s encourage each other and remember that no running journey is the same.

No matter your speed, size, age, distance PR, race budget or what you choose to wear, we’re all brought together by our love of pounding the pavement.  Let’s use our community to embrace these values and make people want to join us, shall we?

Happy Friday and lots of runner love!
Christine

36 comments:

  1. Humility is a GREAT core value to have as a runner, and just as a human being. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts, Christine!

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    1. Agree 100% - and one that I need to remember more!

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  2. This is a great list. After everything that's been happening this week I think everyone could use a little refresher course on what it means to be a good sport.

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    1. It was time to refocus and look at the positives - I couldn't take it anymore!

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  3. I just wanted to say thank you. "No matter your speed, size, age, distance PR, race budget or what you choose to wear, we’re all brought together by our love of pounding the pavement. Let’s use our community to embrace these values and make people want to join us, shall we?" - couldn't have said it better :)

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Kellie. I felt inspired to focus on the positives :)

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  4. After this week of social media craziness, it was refreshing to read your positive list today. As crazy as this week was though, it reminded me how much I truly love the running community; especially in light of the magazine photo being published. We are a true community that celebrates one another and supports each other when we're in need.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts Tara- couldn't agree more.

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  5. I absolutely love this! I agree 1000% - yet I must say that I think humility and encouragement are the most important, or at least ones we need to focus on the most.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Megan, and yes I agree with your take on this.

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  6. Excellent post Christine! It's been a tough week for runners!

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    1. Indeed it has Mindy. Time to focus on the good!

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  7. It has been a crazy week. The only one I really paid attention to was the SELF story, and they certainly found out how close the running community can be.

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    1. Indeed...but I have to admit that even the highly negative backlash against Self was pretty alarming to me. I, in no way, condone what they did but it was pretty overwhelming to watch the venom after the fact.

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  8. Spot on Christine! One of the things I love about being a runner is how largely positive and encouraging this community is. So it breaks my heart when the negative peaks through. Thanks for being a voice of positivity!

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    1. Thanks for your note Karla! I'm definitely drawn to the positive energy so I found this week to be particularly frustrating when I normally enjoy the community so much.

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  9. I love this post, Christine! These five values are definitely at the core of the running community, and reminder of basics is sometimes what everybody needs, especially given what has happened this week.

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    1. Appreciate your note Kathryn - agree 100%!

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  10. What a great perspective to have! The fun and the support of others is what made me become involve in the running community to begin with. -M

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  11. I feel the same way. It HAS been a crazy week, and while I, too, was upset by the banditting and all of the tutu controversy, it killed me to see all of the hateful messages on every social media outlet this week. In one regard, I felt proud to be a runner this week because it was incredibly clear how we can come together to speak out in support of one of our own, but sometimes we definitely do need to take a step back and remember what our community is really all about.

    I especially love what you said about humility. There is so much to be proud of when you're a runner because you're constantly setting new goals -- and working your butt off to achieve those goals! -- and humility can be hard when you want to share your progress along the way. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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    1. I'm with you 100% Jennifer! The venom that started spewing across every social media platform was exhausting and really overwhelming. Thanks for your note!

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  12. <3 this one Christine. Thanks for the gentle reminders- to be gentle with each other! The running community teaches us so much.

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  13. Wonderful, wonderful, blog post!!!

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  14. Well stated! I love your thoughts on humility.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - some of this has been brewing in my brain for a while and this week was a good catalyst to better organize my thoughts :)

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  15. Thank you so much for posting this! As someone who has been running for a while, but is fairly new to racing and the running community, I felt comfort in seeing this. As a newbie, while the running community is so great and inclusive, it can seem daunting when the gear, the accessories, the training plan, the fuel, the splits etc. are all over the place and you're just trying to get over your fear of not finishing. I even hesitated to start a blog, even though I knew it would help me stay motivated, because I didn't have ambassadorships and nobody is giving me free things to try and review, but these 5 things remind me just why I want to run today and keep on running tomorrow!

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    1. Oh Jayne, your words really have stuck with me. I've reread your comment about 10 times. The pressure can be a bit overwhelming at times but the simple joys, support and fun times keep me going.

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  16. Great job refocusing the conversation. Sometimes we can all get too riled up over the little things and lose sight of why we run and how wonderful the running community is. Thanks for the reminders! Ya'll are some classy ladies! :)

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    1. Exactly! It was a really polarizing week and I wanted to end on a happier note! :)

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  17. Love this!! I agree with the other posters....it's easy to focus on all of the negativity, but a lot of good has come out of this situation as well (even though it wasn't exactly the right way).

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  18. Great reminders! We can all lose sight of this at times, it's great to encourage other people in their journey!

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