January 9, 2014
I follow a few thousand people on twitter, many of whom are runners of some description and I often see statements which make me raise an eyebrow, or wind me up slightly but I accept that this is part and parcel of this particular social media channel, so on the whole if someone really irritates me I simple unfollow them and don’t pay them any more attention. But there is one person in particular that I can’t seem to unfollow, despite the fact his updates really get under my skin. His twitter tagline is – whether you run XC, Track, or just for fun, we’ve all got #RunnerProbs…
His update yesterday read…
@TheRunnerProbs: Can’t stand when people FBook their runs. Congrats on your JOG. Come to one of my practices, see how happy your status sounds.
Where do I start?
This is exactly the kind of attitude that makes new runners feel inadequate and the kind of behaviour that tarnishes what is otherwise a really inclusive sport. This kind of online bullying really saddens me, especially seeing as many beginners get support from the internet, and generally speaking the online running community that I am part of I have found to be supportive, and generous.
This guy has 67.9K followers so he is clearly someone with great influence in this world and sometimes I wonder if his tweets are meant to provoke this kind of response, there to cause devision….but on the other hand maybe he is just a twat.
Not everyone who runs does so to run marathons, not everyone who runs wants to be able to run an 8 minute mile or to brag about their bodies being in optimal peak condition. Some of us do it to help maintain a healthier lifestyle, or to relive stress, or to enjoy the environment they live, or to make friends, or, or, or…there are many reasons.
…And for thousands of us it is a bloody difficult thing to do. As I have documented many times on this blog I have often struggled to even run for 30 seconds without stopping. It’s not something I am proud of but it is a fact of life for many overweight and generally unfit people across the globe. The important thing is that people never give up trying, and that they feel confident and supported enough to give running a go.
This is why I wrote my ebook, “Getting past the first 30 seconds” because although there are a lot of beginners books and running programmes, I know it is getting past this milestone which is the biggest challenge for many of us. The book is selling really well on Amazon, which might have something to do with the New Years Resolution effect, but this morning I received the following message from someone who has recently purchased it.
FINALLY read your book. Its brilliant. Went straight out for a run afterwards and actually thought about my breathing and my speed and i ran 2 miles without stopping. Which is HUGE for me. Thanks so much. Am going to do my three runs a week for three weeks now. Last night was number 1. Its so nice to read something and hear from someone who isn’t a stereotypical, gazelle like, skinny-minnie going on about their 8 minute miles! Thank you so much.
How would you respond to this Mr RunnerProbs?
I myself have not run today because I am looking after my poorly daughter…running is a huge part of my life…but there are more important things going on today that need my attention. So for Janathon I am logging the following activity,
- An hour of power walking (to the shops and back earlier)
- Half an hour of core exercises (planks, leg raises, Russian twists and crunches)
- 10 minutes of ferocious typing (Blog writing can really give your fingers a workout)