It's hard to get credit for work people don't know you are doing, so I wanted to take a few minutes and show you my work. I wonder if you are doing any work like this, too?
- I've spent most of my life trying to convince people that I'm smart, in no small part because they frequently speak to me as though I'm stupid.
- I've spent just as much of my life convincing people that I do work HARD, because I'm talked to as though I'm lazy.
- You don't want to know how many hours I've wasted explaining that I'm an adult, because I'm addressed as though I'm a petulant child.
This work is exhausting. Last August I was in unbelievable pain when yet again I found myself convincing someone that I wasn't having fun; that being in that much pain was a living hell, being unable to play with my children was a living hell, that not working was starting to turn into a living hell because my life was quickly becoming Netflix and Facebook. I was alone in my bed 21 hours per day, this did not in any way feel like a vacation. Why did I have to keep explaining that?? That's when I hit the wall. That's when I was done.
Let that sink in: I'm hyperactive, so much so it's almost a joke that I needed to
'come out' about having ADHD
, and I run marathons in my spare time...and people still looked at me and saw weakness, not the burden that had rendered a hyperactive marathon-running mom of 4, convalescent. That's what we mean when we talk about privilege: not having to ask for validation; not having to overcome negative perceptions or defend oneself. Privilege is when the story is about the burden rather than the reaction of the burdened. Not having to prove anything, to be taken at your word is a privilege afforded to very few. I'm not sure it's ever truly
been awarded to me
When I say I hit the wall, I mean I was tired of convincing anyone that my burden was real, that my work was hard and my efforts 100%, that I wasn't in fact low-key enjoying an 8-month vacation in bed watching Netflix, that this was the toughest period of my life to date. In Coach Sarah's weekly newsletter (
if you haven't read it yet) she talks about DNFing the academic job market and how she is still justifying that painful choice to people who know her well; the assumption is never that quitting is the hardest choice she ever made or that maybe she was right to do it. Other people's assumptions about us should never outweigh our reality, but they do...no matter what we do.
We see you. We see all that you are up against. Your feelings are valid. Those pressures are real. Your work is SPECTACULAR. You aren't lazy or weak, and you don't make excuses. We hear the privilege embedded in all messaging in the running community and fitness industry, and we are ready to call out every single bit of it. We are ready to start pushing back, reclaiming our time, creating a safe space for EVERYONE in the fitness world.
If you've found yourself hitting the wall in any area of your life, we hope some of our messaging helps you get through. We're never really talking about the running. Whether you are able to run right now or not, whether you've hit the wall or sail past it without ever seeing it, we are here for you, helping with the hard stuff, through every stage in your journey, profoundly grateful you have chosen to be tethered to the community we are building.
You are Coached. You are Loved. And you ARE #winningatlife