Friday, March 14, 2014

Putting It Out There...Vulnerability and Fear on Display

So let me give you just a little background first...where I work we have a day each year that is dedicated to professional development. We have a Senate that puts the day together for the rest of the staff and they usually have a keynote speaker, a theme, and then some workshops and stuff. It's a pretty great thing really and I'm very blessed to have a place to work that puts value on our personal and professional development at least once each year. Anyways, this year's Staff Development Day will be on March 26 and the theme is "Health and Wellness - Mind & Body". I'm not part of the group planning the event but I think they picked a really great theme. So many times we focus on the tangible professional development skills of using PowerPoint, organizing our Outlook inboxes, knowing what "color" we are (True Colors if you aren't familiar with the personality test concept), etc. But how we feel and take care of ourselves is important too! Sometimes even more so, right?

So the other day I get an email from one of the folks on the Senate, who also happens to be a friend, asking me to lead a workshop on running.

Freak-Out Gif photo 35518b95c77b884802b9499c4c310750-1.gif

Oh the HORROR!!!!!!!

Okay, I know...I love running and I love sharing my love and passion with others, right? I should be absolutely thrilled, right? Yeah...not so much!!!

You see, running is also a very personal thing for me. Sharing it here on the blog is one thing as I pretty much know that anyone reading it already knows I'm a totally crazy runner person. But other people in REAL LIFE...they may not quite "get it". And my co-workers?!?!? Sharing that piece of me with them is scary. At work I have a "persona", a professional other words, I'm kinda faking who I am at work. Running for me is like removing that outer layer and seeing the real me. The me that my loved ones and friends see. And I'm scared by opens up a level of vulnerability that I work hard at not opening up.

I'm not an expert. I'm not a certified coach. I'm not even someone that has had coaching. I won't win races probably ever. I avoided running like the plague when I was younger and "in shape". Now I'm just an overweight Nana-Mother-Putt-Putt-Runner that slogs along at a slower than breakneck pace. How am I supposed to lead a workshop on running?!?!?

And I pretty much said all of that in the reply to my friend.

And her response to me was something along the lines of "Those are all the reasons I WANT you to lead the workshop. I want to hear about running from someone that is a normal person that finds the time to do all these crazy things like run races and train in the middle of the night while juggling work and family and everything else. I don't want to hear about it from a coach or a professional, I can't relate to that."


And there it is. You see the last word in that quote? Yep...COURAGE. My One Little Word for 2014. *sigh*

Turns out that I kind of asked for this. So guess what I'll be doing on March 26? Leading a workshop titled something like "The Average Person's Guide to Running for Fitness" or perhaps I'll go silly with "How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: Learn to Run". haha

And in the end, I know that my initial freakout was just fear talking. The fear of putting myself out there and risking rejection or humiliation. But you know what, if someone doesn't like what I have to say about it, who cares! All I can do is share my experiences and if they can't relate then oh well...but perhaps I just might inspire a person or two to find their own running journey? Or even if they never run a day in their life, maybe they will find a different journey to fitness...and that, my friends, is more important than my fear. Just remind me of that fact when I start to freakout again on March 25, mmmmkay?


  1. You may be pooing on the inside but if you look for that opportunity to inspire others, it can bring you so much more happiness than you ever imagined. In 2 years, some woman could come up to you and thank you for changing her from sharing a blood supply with the couch to running a few miles a day. The reward that could keep on giving if you just take the ingredient that makes the hotten tot so hot and put the ape in apricot...courage.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement...and you're right - who knows what difference this might make in someone's life down the road. :-) Ripple effects...