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Real vs. Reel

A few weeks ago I read a post from a runner that I follow on Instagram that talked about social media being a highlight reel. It is something that I have seen posted by people over and over again – “social media is a highlight reel”. My social media is absolutely a highlight reel. While I do post the not as fun, not as happy, “real life” moments from time to time, most of what you see is the positive, motivational, happy stuff. In fact… that’s how I live my every day life. Even though I pride myself on being real, on being transparent, fighting for mental health awareness, breaking the stigma, suicide prevention… I present everyone (and I do mean everyone, even my closest friends and my family and my husband) with a highlight reel.

The runner I mentioned above made a comment on her post about how she doesn’t want to go on her social media and post about her past or her life problems. She said, “They are personal to me and what drives me to succeed every day but they are mine.” While I don’t necessarily share the exact same feelings about sharing my “ugly side”, there are other reasons why I hold back from being 100% real on social media and in every day life. She went on to comment that she had experienced a particularly bad day that day. She was able to do a long run to get her mind off what she was dwelling on from the past. I run for similar reasons. I run to process my feelings. I run to sort through problems in my head. I run to just escape, be somewhere else, and to get out of my head sometimes.

This month, however, I noticed that running wasn’t doing it for me. I have been feeling really defeated. As much as I have gotten used to plans being canceled and races being postponed, it hit me harder this time. I did not want to run. I did not want to make new training plans when one race was postponed and another sold out. I deleted the training plan from my spreadsheet and just had blank weeks until my marathon training plan starts for Detroit. While I was participating in other forms of self-care, it was hitting me hard that running wasn’t helping the way it normally did.

Maybe some day I will open up more about the part of me that doesn’t make the highlight reel. I’m not ready right now, but what I want to leave you all with is 1) I am okay and getting the help that I need, 2) It is okay for you, AND ME, to not be okay, 3) That you are not alone if you are feeling like you are not enough or that someone has it worse so you don’t deserve to feel your feelings. I am working very hard at telling myself that I am enough and that my feelings are mine and they are valid.

I am running a couple of days a week, a couple of miles here and there. I’m doing yoga and other cross training. I’m going on long walks with my husband on the nice days when we don’t have to work. I am trying to take care of myself the best that I can, and I hope that you are, too.

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