Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Thank You Social Media

There are so many people who have been talking about how social media makes them feel like they are not a good runner. That they are not worthy of being called a runner because they aren't as fast, run as many races or wear certain clothes. While I can agree with a lot of this, I owe most of my running success to social media.

We Run Social Meet Up before the 2016 RnR Las Vegas 5k

When I got back in to running in 2012 I knew no one. It was something I did by myself for myself. I never talked to anyone. I wouldn't even say hello or give a head nod. When I ran my first half marathon I was so competitive with myself I barely enjoyed it. In my brain I was judging all of the people around me and wondered why I wasn't faster than them.

When I trained for my first marathon I was losing my mind. I didn't know what I was doing and I had no one to ask for help. I had a book, but that was it. Being out on the course for 26.2 miles all alone was hard. Knowing I wouldn't see a familiar face for hours was draining.

Then I started blogging. I joined the Runners World run streak from Memorial Day to July 4th and I connected with some people. People who knew what I was going through because they were too. I started joining RunChat Sunday nights on Twitter and made some more friends. Friends that would greatly impact my life.

As I started to open up to a new community, I was becoming a better runner. I was less competitive and took a lot of pressure off of myself. I was having fun. I was making new friends, which I was having a problem doing living in Pittsburgh, and I really wanted to train. I wanted to keep meeting people and support them as much as they have supported me. I formed real friendships that I cannot imagine not having.

I made friends with people who are faster and slower than me. I run with them all. I make sure that I learn something from everyone I encounter. I also love social media because if I put a goal out there, I am more likely to stick to it. You all keep me accountable, and I love that. We celebrate together and you guys have helped me through some rough defeats.

I will never forget running the Pittsburgh Marathon this year and being able to say hello to someone almost every two miles that I knew! Less than a mile from the finish line I had a group of friends cheering for me. My phone was filled of texts, tweets and photos from friends all over the country. You know what, I love doing the same thing for all of you.

So for those who are seeing social media as something that is ruining running or making you feel like you are less of a runner, I hope this shows you the other side. Everything is what you make of it. I chose to make it about a community and a support system. I want you all to know, no matter what I am proud of you. I am proud that you made the commitment to get out there and be active. I am proud of you for being you and making your journey your own.

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What are your feelings on social media and running? Has it made you a better runner?

1 comment:

  1. Aw, this is a great post!! I'm so happy you found your tribe through social media. For me, social media has been amazing. I've had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people through blogging, tweeting, and instagramming. I'm so thankful for those relationships. Great post.