Who here "Gets it"?

Laura's recent post got me thinking about my own life and how my fitness or drive doesn't "fit" or is not understood in my circle of (supposedly) good friends and family. She recently spoke about how she's trying to eat healthy and live a corporate consulting life, that people don't "get". She gets semi-picked on or chastised for trying to choose healthy options at team, dinners/outings. That is the rough of it.

She got a comment that goes like this: From Julie. "And, yes, I've found people can go either way: they support you (and, in many cases, are inspired enough to start making better choices for themselves) or they trash you for trying if they're threatened. Thankfully, most people are either the former or neutral."

I wish the crowds I run with (figuratively speaking here, of course), were at least neutral. Seriously, here lately that's come up with me and I just need to talk about and since my husband is out of town, and my daughter hears "yada, yada, yada" from me while watching Spongebob or Dora, I'm letting loose here. My situation though isn't about food choices, but about my active lifestyle. I workout a lot - Well, to people around me - of course, not to you bloggers. I swim at lunch, or run, or cycle so I can spend more time in the evening with my family and I don't get asked to lunch "because you're always working out". Okay, no biggie. I understand that. But, just the other day a few people I work with ganged up on me and my workout dedication. I was picked, poked and prodded quite a bit, to where I felt tense. What made me feel a bit on the defense was that 4 people at one time were chastising my commitment to working out, bashing me like the paparazzi do Britney. I ended up saying something to the effect that "I'm committed to fitness so that I can set an example to my daughter and so I can have a possible life expectancy higher than most". At one point, I did let loose that I workout more than all of them combined and at that point, I became "holier than thou". What?? That's what I was told. I wish I wouldn't have said that. I think the conversation ended with the possibility is higher of me loosing my life way earlier than normal cause "someone will run me over while I'm out riding or hit me while I'm running on a sidewalk". Huh???? You've got to be kidding me. I made sure that once the conversation was over, It was back to normal.

MOST of our friends (not including those of you online, of course) and family couldn't care less about what David and I are doing to improve our fitness, and in return improving our lives. Not just the races, or the distances we cover, but even the fact that David was picked to be on a sponsored team. For his 2nd year ever of competing in triathlons, he's hanging with some of the best of the best in SC on a team. This is part of our lives and something we enjoy. I mean, look at my calendar. Do you think I care about what I'm doing? So why is it that it seems people want to care about you, just NOT what's important to you, if it's not understood by them. It's easy to find that connection with those that you have something in common with. I really try hard to understand or have some sort of compassion for what a friend/family member of mine enjoys/loves. After all, if I care about them, I should care about their lives as well.

People don't get it, so they tend to talk down to you to make them feel better. Unfortunately, I've either had the feeling of when I'm talking passionately about an upcoming race or one that just passed, that I get the blank stare, the I hear blah, blah, blah, stare. OR, I'm told not to talk about it, in which this shuts me down, not just with the conversation but I shut down in talking about myself at all. I know I take it personally, but it IS personal.

All this venting, and I had a positive experience the other day with this very subject. While at my Aunt's house, I brought up that on our upcoming trip, I will probably be taking my vehicle so I can take my bike with me. This started the triathlon/racing conversation with the ladies in my family. They were asking questions, and my Mom, even though she knows nothing about triathlons except it involves the 3 sports, was so proud of David and I. She talked about how "we do these things all the time (she meant races), etc and kept going about it". I know she's my Mom and wouldn't expect anything less, right. After all, I'm her favorite daughter. :-) I don't expect that reaction from everyone, well no-one else, for that matter but it made me feel good, that even though she doesn't understand it, she cares about us - therefore, she cares about what we care about. She's also started a workout routine, which I'm very proud of her for doing so. Amazing!

I have come a long way, and know I have a ways to go. After having Grace 3 yr 3 mos ago, David and I sat on the couch all the time for a long time. We did no fitness whatsoever. I don't know what lit our fires, but somehow we got off the couch and started working out. In 2006, we including most of my team at work, signed up for a local 5K and that's what got us going. I used to run up to 10 miles years ago in the Navy while I was on Active Duty, but when I started training for the 5K, I had to start all over. And now, it's about showing Grace that she can grow up with fitness in her life instead of years down the road, having someone other than us tell her she needs to add fitness to her life. It will be normal for her to workout and make her body healthy. I wish I would have had someone while I was younger to get me to do some 5K's, or kids triathlons, or whatever. If so, I think I could be a whole lot further than I am now and know that I would be better at what I enjoy.

Yesterday, I went out for my run at lunch and tried to do some fartleks from what Ashley suggested the other day. I ventured out to do 3 miles, and it's pretty flat for us. It's also heavily traveled, so I thought I'd run street to street at a higher turnover. I'd run a little, then back off and so forth. I quickly became tired, as I suppose you're supposed to feel. But, at one time during a pick-up pace I looked down at my watch and saw a time of about 7:58 pace and that made me smile. Now, don't expect to see any outrageous times in my run, because like I said after 3 of these I felt spent. I did about 2 more after I turned around at 1.5 miles. I would, however, hope that soon I can have a run where I'm not running in 15mph winds. Geesh.... I'm going to keep on, keeping on. :-)

Run - 3.15 miles 30:07 (9:34 /mi)

Basically, all this venting (sorry for the long post) had me wanting to say that I'm glad I've found all of you. Each and everyday that I visit your blogs, I'm touched, inspired, enlightened, humbled, and pushed to improve my physical ability. Everyone one of you help and guide me in some way. That's why I stalk your blogs. :-) The comrade here in this virtual world is amazing and I've met some fantastic friends through this blog. I sometimes feel like, other than a select few in my life here, you all understand and "get it".


streak said...

I think your coworkers (my brother-in-law may be one)are very jealous and are not happy with their own lack of commitment and motivation. Keep up the good work and enjoy every second, there are thousands that would love to be able to do what we do.
Soon, maybe even Grace will be able to join you during your workouts and how great that will be.

Julie said...

Great post and great blog! Your writing is a pleasure to read. Thanks for referencing mine in your post.

Viv said...

Amazing, spectacular post! You nailed it...The thoughts I feel when around my family and friends. Some try to get it some just don't. That is why I always glad to you have you blogging friends, cause you get it. You understand all the dedication we put into this aspect of our lives. The what drives us. I think your doing super dooper and you inspire me and encourage me with your coments regularly. I think it is important for our kiddos to see how moving our bodies keeps them strong.

Keep it up!

Great job on those supah fast miles, I have a feeling you will be hanging on the 9 min mark for runs to come :-)

PS if I worked with ya I would be headin out on a workout with you.

Nancy said...

Very nice post. Those that care but don't understand it all will still ask and at least understand that it is important to you. My in-laws are like this. I think I can bore them pretty easily with all the details, but they still ask because they care about me.

You are doing a good thing here and only certain people get that. I, too, am SO SO thankful to have supportive bloggers like you keeping me going!!

Paul said...

Great post. It's important to not let others detract you from what you are doing. There will be no shortage of those people.

Gotta Run..... said...

It is a great this to be part of a community of those that “get it” and want to be healthy by a good diet and exercise plan.

It is very easy for a LAZY person to attack an active one for no other reason than pure jealousy. Sad but true. There is times that what another person says may hurt. They are the lost ones.

Sad that some of our closest families and friends really don’t even know us and the passion that drives us to do the things we do.

Just think of all the money they spens at lunch each day. Unreal if you ask me.

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

I'm told not to talk about it, in which this shuts me down...
I hear that from time to time in Ultra land that peeps don't say what they do cause people don't get it and think we are all crazy....

HMMMM I say "WHATEVER" I share what I am doing and LET Them THINK I am crazy, cause I THINK they are crazy for sitting on the Couch, moaning whining and complaining about whoever comes to mind--LOL

SOOO with that SAID ...Don't you ever shut down and not express what you do in ur conversations with someone if YOU believe in it and it makes you feel good ...

YES we will get some BS comments back sometimes but you said it already it's their little defensive (small minded)mechanism and I like to share what I am training for NOT for them but to KEEP me accountable, the more I share the more I say "CRAP I better keep on training since I told all those people"--HAHAHA

MY BALL MY BAT MY GAME!!--Bob that sounds a little cocky .. ya a little but ONLY the Lord above determines my fate not my friends family or neighbors.

SO BE SO Grateful you are focused on something (like fitness) and YES you ARE an AWESOME role model to Grace...Showing her YOU can be fit and do that other stuff (job, school etc...)

Amen!!!! God is GOOD! Do ur thing Chica :-)and KEEP being fired up about it, Ok? OK!!!

sunshine said...

Amen, sister!

You and David are such amazing role models to your little munchkin... something I hope to do myself one day. Keep it up!!!! :)

Lily on the Road said...

Nice post Mendy, thanks for sharing what most of us feel but haven't been able to put into words!

Follow your passion, because that's what you have, passion for life, passion for fitness and most importantly a passion for your family, David and Grace are what count and I'm so glad that you have one another. You are teaching amazing life lessons to your little sweetpea and setting an example that she will carry with her throughout her life.

Life is to live and if we listened to the nay sayers, nothing would have ever been accomplished in this world, we'd all be knuckle dragging neanderthals eating raw meat.

Enjoy what you do, be proud of who you are and the challenges you have given yourself. Don't associate yourself with negative people.

This is what a really good friend of mine emailed me yesterday because I was second guessing myself trying to get ready for my first marathon at age 55,

"Don’t forget you’re a truly amazing woman doing all you do. You should be so proud of your accomplishments to date AND your future accomplishments that you’ll acquire. You CAN do the marathon. Maybe a little motto of mine will help. “Give yourself some credit and cut yourself some slack”.

So Mendy, cut yourself some slack and enjoy everyday. I love "stalking" your blog because you are so real and so genuine....you inspire ME!

Thanks for the great "chat", you've made my day.

Jess said...

The others are right. Comments of that nature are motivated by jealousy, nothing more.

I suppose the best anyone can do with those who don't understand is simply to accept the fact that they won't comprehend that part of your life and try not to allow it to bother you.

Always better said than done.

Eric said...

Un-frickin' believable! These people are seriously jealous of you and your commitment to yourself. They DON'T get it! That's why so many Americans are obese...they don't commit, they don't practice discipline, they don't care!

Keep it up, sista!

J~Mom said...

Aww Mendy!! What a great post!! I definitely can relate!! I am so tired of being the "freak" at family events. This is so well written and I love how you expressed it all!

Marcy said...

Awesome post chica! I absolutely agree with what everyone has already said. This is why I *heart* all my RBF's. You guys are pretty much the only peeps that "get it" Of course fam and close friends are supportive (well, in the ways that they can be considering that they don't have the love for running as much as me) but it's kinda like you're speaking a foreign language or something. As long as we've got each other, right? We can all be cra-zay together :P

P.O.M. said...

Me, me, me - I get it!

And I get exactly what you're sayin' here!

I actually lost some friends on my quest to a healthier me. But who cares? I don't - well I did at the time, but not anymore. I got made fun of all the time for my eating, but once I lost 30 lbs, then my chubby friends are like "how did you do it?" Uhm DUH - idiots.

Everyone is going to have some lame opinion about how you should live. But only you and your husband "get it." You're doing awesome!

Unknown said...

Next time, just tell them that you are doing it purely for financial reasons. Training for triathlons is a much cheaper solution to staying sane than the booz, drugs and theapists that all of them are paying for to keep from putting a gun in their mouth. I'd be interested to see their answer to that.

Seriously, most of these people can't conceptualize that this sort of training can actually be fun. Their only experience with running is having to do a lap or two during high school gym class or running around the block once and finding out that it hurts. Of course it hurts, you've never done it before! Let them think you are crazy. Let them continue to live their shallow little lives with their shallow little goals. When they are in their 60s or 70s and spend all their time going to doctors while you are still out running around, you will know it was worth it. Next time they say you are crazy, just tell them "yep, I must be crazy," smile and walk away. They they might just wonder what it is that they are missing out on.

teacherwoman said...

I know exactly what you are talking about, chica! Some of the people that I know that give me the hardest time and don't "get it" are those who do absolutely nothing but complain of being overweight or sick or blah blah blah. It gets old... real fast.

Wes said...

Having a community of friends, near and far, virtual and in the flesh, who get "it", is da bomb :-)

Sarah said...

Well, you know you hit a chord with all of us. That's been something I've had to struggle a lot with lately. I sometimes feel a tug of war with people in my life who don't seem to understand this world at all. And I'm trying to find a balance, but there are some days where I just wish people would understand it. Just for a second. And I know that all of my bloggy friends do.

Nikki said...

Great post Mendy!

I'm inspired by your and David's commitment EVERYDAY! I actually was surprised to read that it is still a pretty new lifestyle for you three..you go girl!

Jealously rears its ugly head more then we want to see...ITA that it is jealousy.

Bravo to your mom! She doesn't understand but she still brags you guys up :D

David said...

Soooo...what are you saying?

ha ha ha

You know how I feel: if people give me crap and talk about the freak that runs and swims and cycles all the time, I just say, "Hell yeah! Cause I totally rock!" They may want to get to me, and make me reconsider, but I turn it around and make them think I'm feeding off them noticing me exercising. Even if it shakes me a bit, I don't let it show, and therefore I'm less shaken in the long run.

But it does help to have a bunch of other exercise freaks out here in the eWorld that get "it".

Ashley said...

Mendy! Great post - thanks for getting all these thoughts down, I really want to spend more time reading. Also, thank you for helping spread the word about our MDA Stride & Ride 5K! I hope to see you there (and any of your friends). Again, AWESOME job with your street 2 street pick-ups... I'm telling you, it will make a huge difference! fun fun fun

RunnerGirl said...

"So why is it that it seems people want to care about you, just NOT what's important to you"

Oh, I totally get this. I happens in so many aspects of my life, mostly running/working out and my Relay for Life stuff. I vent to my husband about it all the time, and you summed up my complaint perfectly.

He tells me to just keep on doing what I do and not worry how others react to it. Plus, there's always our fellow workout fanatics in blogland!

Pokey said...

I think it's as simple as people bash what they dont understand. It's the only thing they know to do.

Personally, I sometimes like it when people comment how crazy it is to want and go run 5, 10, 13 miles. It separates something that I can do, from what they can do....and maybe it gives me a bit of selfish satisfaction ;)

On the flip side, there are many that can do things that I cannot....and it INSPIRES ME. Motivates me. Makes me push myself to want to be better.

You and David....and so many others in blogland....do exactly that for me. You are all the reasons that I didnt run one lousy race and then hang up my running shoes.

So if you ever feel crappy about the way people act about your ambitions, just remember that there are plenty of us out here that look to you for inspiration and think that you are DA BOMB!!!!

Love ya girl!!!!!

Tiffany said...

Hey guys! Great post. I needed a kick in the pants. Just signed up for the Bridge Run- gonna take me about 4 days to finish. Back in it!


Laura said...

It is SO hard, isn't it Mendy? Glad to hear that my post got you thinking. And I agree with you about the "holier than thou" thing. Even when my coworkers don't actually give me grief about my eating/workout habits, I'm always concerned that I'm making them feel bad by doing what I do. Two of the people on my team are overweigh, and one doesn't look overweight but says he's trying to lose a few pounds, so I always feel like my willpower is kind of a slap in the face to them when they get unhealthy food or don't work out. Every night when we leave, they talk about how they're too tired to work out, and they're just going to bed. Then the next day, when they ask how my night was and I say that I ran a few miles or lifted weights or whatever... it's the truth, and I make sure I don't put it in a "holier than thou" way, but sometimes it probably comes off like that. Because let's face it - our dedication is not something everyone has, and people get envious of that.

Anyway, I am just so glad that you understand what I was saying in my post :) Thanks so much for posting more thoughts! I'm probably going to stalk these comments for a while for some more ideas for how to deal.

Unknown said...

You're not alone in having most people not "get it"

I no longer try to justify it, explain it, or otherwise talk about it with those people in my life.

The blog ends up being a good outlet and makes me feel a little more sane!

Randy - Maniac #788 said...

Mendy...thanks for venting...I've enjoyed reading your "rant" and I'm so with you...both from an exercise standpont and as someone dedicated to trying to lose weight. You've given me fuel for thought to yet another blog of my own about similar experiences and how they can weigh on the mind. These people that can be "friends" but be so negative I truly believe are just threatened by your ability to be consistent with what you do and they wish they could...but lack something to even get started...applause for your efforts and for being a great blog to read as I get back into a "consistent" routine myself...I'm glad I'm back...thanks.

Carly said...

Wow, what a great post!!! I get it all the time, either people rolling their eyes that I would rather workout than go out for drink or people that try to babysit my efforts (shouldn't you be running now?)

I am glad I found your blog.

Michelle said...

I would guess the people who don't "get" it are jealous and wish they could be doing what you and David are.

I am fortunate to have many people in my life who totally support me in my quest to be fit via running/racing. Even though they aren't out there running with me (wish they were sometimes), they understand why I am doing it and are happy for me. Heck, my parents even offer to buy me running stuff all the time! :-)

And my sister-in-law started running and cycling after being inspired by my success. Cool, huh?

The 311 Boys Mom said...

I had written a post where you commented that you could of written it. Well, RIGHT BACK AT YA!!!

My mom now thinks because I got injured I need to "just walk". Mind you my brother had BOTH his ACL's replaced & she's never said it to him. & before this I heard her bragging to people about how I used to walk the track in Jr High, now look at me.

Then, I overheard my dad asking my brother "how much longer do you think we'll have to hear about this running crap". my bro laid into my dad that he should be proud & supportive. Noone knows I heard that.

My DH: "maybe you should take up knitting. you're not meant to be an athlete."

BUT my brother, siser, kid, aunt, all are VERY supportive, all the time. My mom was until the injury thing.

I dont' really talk about running or you guys anymore beacuse I do get the "I hear Blah, blah, blah" faces. Which I had to laugh you posted that because I JUST told my DH to listen to my words not Blah, blah, blah--he said I really sound like the Charlie Brown teacher, which makes him smile when he's fake listening.

nice, I know.

so i'm right there with ya sista! you know you're doing what YOU want & that's what important & KOOL for cryin out loud. :o)
(my Dh is an x-navy man, virginia beach, out in 96)