Take me, for example.
When I look at myself, I see a strong, driven and confident person with just a dash of adventure.
But when some people look at me, they see an unapproachable, competitive and cocky person with just a dash of crazy.
Are they completely wrong? No. I can be all of those things.
But, am I completely right? Probably not. No one likes to admit their flaws.
Usually, other people's misconceptions about me don't bother me. But for some reason, when it comes to how I am viewed as a runner, all those misconceptions get under my skin.
- When you see me in my skirts and socks, I am NOT mocking your sport. And just because I look cute doesn't mean I don't take running seriously. - I am a runner with drive and passion and fashion sense. These things are not mutually exclusive.
- When you see me running with my posse, laughing endlessly, I am not goofing off. Just because I have managed to combine friendship and running doesn't mean I don't train my butt off. - I am a runner who runs 6 days a week, 2000 miles a year and is constantly striving to improve. I just bring my friends along for the ride.
- When you hear me talk about pace and PRs and placement, I am not asserting that I am better than you. Or even that I am trying to be better than you. - I am a runner who is competitive with no one but me.
- When you tell me I am too fast (or slow) for you to run with, you are wrong. There is no such thing. Pace is relative to the individual and the workout. Chances are we can find a common ground. - I am a runner who will always run with anyone who asks. No matter how fast or slow.
- When you tell me that I'm crazy for whatever the reason (mileage, 2 marathons in 6 days, eating habits, doing something you "could NEVER do"), you are lucky that I don't punch you in the face. I am not superhuman. Or even extraordinary. I'm not doing anything that thousands of other people don't do every day. I am not doing something that you couldn't do if you tried. - I am a runner who sees the value in pushing past self-imposed limits and sets goals (sometimes lofty) to make that happen.