Monday, March 31, 2014

Judge Not.

Oh my gosh, YOU GUYS. There has been drama.

First there was the bandit. She ran a big race here in Georgia illegally--as in, without paying for a number. She took selfies throughout the race and then wrote a blog post about it. Rage, fist-shaking and strongly-worded responses commenced from the entire running community. .

THEN Self magazine insulted a runner wearing a tutu in a race. Even worse, the runner was a cancer patient. Once again, we pavement pounders came out in full force, organizing tutu runs for the weekend and blowing up social media with photos of ourselves in various states of tulle.

I didn't devote specific blogs about either of these issues, because I don't have anything to say about the topics that haven't been said: taking something that isn't yours, even if it isn't physical, is bad. Making fun of people is bad. Especially if that person is going through chemotherapy and all she did was have the (gasp) audacity to wear a tutu.

Then this weekend I ran a women's 5k. No boys allowed, just ladies of every age, shape, size and costume. And here is what I saw: support. Calls of encouragement to those that slowed down on yet another Atlanta hill. Cheers when we made it to the top. Pats on the back, laughter, tutus, sweatpants, race shirts, goofy looking compression socks, bad hair days, rain jackets. Happiness.

What I didn't see? Judgement. From anyone.

That's what this is supposed to be about. It lightened my soul, after a week of reading cross-fire between the Self magazine and the rest of the world. It made me happy that I could go out in my funny pink running skirt and trot along at my own pace and not have to worry about anyone making fun of me for the way my arms sort of whaff about when I'm not focused on them, or the alarming glaring whiteness of my legs after a winter of fleece-lined running pants.

When did the world become so judgemental? We're all guilty of it in so many aspects of our lives. Running, work, motherhood--don't get me started on the judgment that runs rampant in mommy circles. You can't make a move as a mother without being labeled with something. And being a runner is becoming just as bad.

I was at a race launch a few weeks ago and someone asked me what long distances I'd run. When I said I'd run a half marathon at Disney, this woman gave me a look and said, "oh, you're one of those."

Yep. I'm one of those. It was like my 13.1 didn't count as much as hers because I'd done it while running through a castle and got a high five from Mickey Mouse at the finish line.

Running any distance--a mile, a 5k, a 10k, a half, a full or beyond--is a huge accomplishment. This person had no idea what part of my running journey I was on, or how far it had taken me to get there. I wanted to poke her and say, "hey, judge not, lady."

I've seen the memes that bash folks who post their daily mileage or workouts on social media. Here's a novel idea: if you don't care about how much I go to the gym or how far I ran that morning, don't read it. Same with foodies who post pics of their meals or new mothers who are enamored with their babies. People have their likes, their obsessions, their goals. You can bet when I start training for my first marathon, my journey is going to be public and out there. I might never make it without the amazing people I've connected with.

Why can't we all just wear tutus and get along?

A penny for your thoughts: do you ever feel judged? How do you brush it off and keep going?


  1. Yes! People seem to think that somehow the miles at Disney are just not as long as they are anywhere else. BUT I will say that no matter where I go for races, I always run into other Disney runners and it's fun to connect with them. I whiled away the last 20 minutes of waiting at the start of the Asheville Half with a repeat marathoner who had done every single Dis race in a year!

    1. I agree--I LOVE finding other runDisney people at races! They're the most fun. ;)

  2. YES! Why can't we all wear tutus and get along? I would wear a tutu every damn day if it was feasible! I try not to let the opinions of others influence my feelings, but sometimes it's hard not to get caught up into it. I'm actually really tired of hearing about SELF and the Bandit because I feel it has been beaten into the ground already, people have said what they need to say, and we all just need to collectively move forward.

    1. Definitely. Especially with social media, things explode and then get dragged on...and on...and on...

  3. I responded to this this morning, but since it's not here, you may have opted to delete it or I may have hit the sign out button instead of publish. It was that kind of Monday. In case I lost the post myself, I'll try again.
    As far as the whole judging thing, I feel like it works both ways. The girl who bandited the marathon was certainly judged for it all over social media. People don't have a hard time taking a stand or spouting opinions when it's not them, but they're quick to take offense if they somehow identify with the topic. As far as the tutu thing, I said on my blog that it's not unusual for women's magazines to point out a list of fashion "don'ts." I suspect they were planning on addressing the tutu thing and just needed a photo...any photo of someone in a tutu in a run. That picture could have been any runners in any race. The only reason it created such a firestorm is because the girl in it has an online tutu company and she had a large social media audience to make a fuss to.
    When it comes to what people think about me, I don't care. I get out there, I put in my earbuds and put one foot in front of the other.