Since nothing super impactful/interesting happened today running wise (at least compared to yesterdays perfect run), I decided now was the right time to go into why I started this blog in the first place and how it has evolved over the past three years. Right now, I am posting as much if not more consistently than I did way back in the fall of 2014 during my first semesters of college. Coincidence, definitely not. Both of these times mark major transitions in my life, times of uncertainty/change/stress and all around feeling scared of what the future holds. So, without further ado, here are the nine reasons (I know ten would have made more sense, but I couldn't think of anymore) why I started this blog. Here we go!!!
I am calling this first one reason zero, because I literally just thought of it and don't have enough to say about it to really consider it a major reason for this blog in particular. I did have a blog for a short time during my senior year of high school (I think??). I started it around the same time I started my Kirkwood Composition class, which again clearly not by coincidence, was when I got my first laptop. I have no clue how to access that blog, and I am guessing the stuff on there is probably even crazier/more random than the stuff I am posting today (I know I have a hard time believing it too!). At the time, I was probably just as stressed out as I am now and looking for someplace to express myself without judgment. One major difference between that blog and the my current postings is that I try to consciously not post only about my struggles, but my accomplishments as well. I also try to be as open, honest, and raw as possible. Obviously there are some things that I would rather not have random people (or people I actually know) on the Internet know; those are the posts that I schedule to go public like six months to a year in the future. That way, I can at least look back on them even if I never decide to share them on here with everyone else. Also, if at some point in the future I decide the information is no longer too personal to share, I can just put it out there with the click of a button.
Now, reason one why I decided to give this whole blogging thing a try: It seemed like a good idea at the time and I was spending way more time in the ITC center than I care to admit that first year due to roommate issues. I was extremely homesick, stressed, and dealing with the worst body image issues I have ever dealt with. When I first picked up blogging again this semester, it was so sad to go back and read some of those first posts. I even considered deleting them, but ultimately decided against it. Those posts tell just as much/just as important of a story as the ones I am currently posting. They also show just how much I have grown as a person both in general and in my fitness journey. I still deal with all the same stress/anxiety that I dealt with back then, the major difference is I know how to handle it and work through it with effectively with the right coping mechanisms. I never intended for this blog to go public back then, never dreamed I would have the link to it plastered on all my social media accounts.
The second reason I decided that blogging was something I was interested in pursuing, is because of the emotional release it offers. Whether it be running/fitness related or just personal stuff, actually taking the time to write it out is very therapeutic in my experience. I have really come to love just setting aside a few hours at most to listen to music and just type out what is on my mind. For someone like me who is more of an introvert, this is the perfect sounding board for dealing with whatever happens to be bugging me. In a perfect world, I would just pick someone if my life to discuss all of these things with, but that's a lot to ask of one person. Not, that I don't have people like than in my life because I do, but they have their own stuff they are dealing with, so they can't (nor would I expect them to) just drop everything in the blink of an eye to just sit and listen to my random ramblings. Plus, the goal behind this reasoning is to be able to essentially empty my mind when it gets overflowed with "stuff" for lack of a better word, and make room for the more important/essential "stuff." Essentially, it's like in Harry Potter when Dumbledore uses his wand to take memories out of his head and put it in that magical thing (pensive? I think) where he can access them later on if he wants. Granted I can't actually jump back into my memories/experiences like Dumbledore can, but re-reading them gets me pretty close. At the end of the day, when I finish a post (especially a partiularly personal/emotional one) I walk away feeling refreshed and probably already thinking about what my next post will be about.
The third reason why blogging is something I have absolutely fallen in love with, is because it gives me the ability to look back and analyze my past mistakes and possibly learn from them. This has been so true when it comes to my running and the mental battle that comes along with getting through hard/bad runs. It has been so easy for me in the past to equate a string of bad runs (or lifts) to some flaw in my own athletic ability. I feel like taking this mindset only makes the bad times seem worse and last way longer than they would if you just accept that fact that they are going to happen. For example, Saturday and Sunday's run were absolute crap this past weekend. Like I was either in pain the whole time or fighting the wind. But then, out of nowhere, Monday's run was perfect. It wasn't perfect by accident though, I had taken the time to adjust the pacing on my running watch and really analyze my form and work on not allowing myself to mentally hit that panic button midrun. Now, I obviously didn't just fix everything in two days time, that would be some Harry Potter level stuff. But I was able to see firsthand how seeing the good in the bad can alter how you approach obstacles.
Reason number four plays off of number two, so I'll try to keep things short. I like having the ability to catalog my feelings/events and pretty much taking a mental snapshot of what's currently happening in my life. Even if it's really, really person stuff (aka Sunday's scheduled post that will probably never go public), having that documented to look back on and maybe get a laugh or two out of is the best. Also, I like being able to see how I feel in the moment is vastly different to how I feel in the middle of a post, after finishing the post, and days/weeks/months/years later. It's so weird because you would think your feelings about an event wouldn't change that fast without any clear explanation. Okay, I can feel myself getting way too into my feels, so let's just move onto the next reason.
Reason number five: Open up and share a part of my life. Essentially this blog is my platform to say "This is me". Living in such a small town has its upsides, but it is not without its drawbacks. One major drawback is that everyone (literally everyone) thinks that they "know" you, your past, your family, your day-to-day life, who you are, how you feel, etc. And that could not be further from the truth. For instance, there is not one person, in my hometown of like 3,000ish people that knows just how much I do/have struggled with body image issues after losing weight. They can possibly imagine how crappy it is to put so much work into your physique and still have lose skin/stretch marks/imperfections. And I'm perfectly fine with them not knowing what that's like, no big deal. But, for people to then go and judge me (or anyone for that matter) for going through the weight loss process and not being a size two with a six pack, is not okay. Period. It doesn't matter whether you're some asshole high school jock or a forty something year old who thinks its okay to call someone anorexic. This blog gives me the space to say, I am so much more than my imperfections, the girl who loves working out/running, the girl who used to weigh xxxlbs. Moreover, it gives me the platform to take a stand against body shaming, because its only going to get worse unless more people speak out against it.
Reason number six is far more lighthearted than five was, I promise!! Entertainment. I feel like my life could accurately be described as a combination of The Office and Parks & Rec. The only thing that could make it better would be if there was a random camera person that followed me around so I could look into the camera randomly throughout the day and comment on the random/crazy happenings. That's why I often type random stuff in the (like wow how would anyone find the mundane stuff that happens in your life funny, at least not Michael Scott funny) to keep whoever decides to read this blog entertained or I guess interested in the content. Or maybe I do it so future Caitlyn can look back on this blog and laugh her ass off, idk. Okay, we're almost there...three more to go!
Okay number seven, arguably the most important aside from some of what I touched on in reason five; educate (that's a bit of a stretch, inform?) and help other people. I clearly don't have it all figured out, if you've read any of my other posts, you know this by now. But, if one person can take one piece of advice or mistake that I made and then apply it to their own life in some way and it has a positive impact, then all of this work and getting in my feels when I really (liker REALLY) don't want to and sharing the way too personal life stories will have been worth it. I feel that I post on enough of a variety of things that there is something in one of these stories for everyone (even myself) to take away and somehow improve some aspect of their life/fitness/personal relationships.
As you can see, these explanations are getting shorter, we've been at this for close to 90 minutes, and it seriously feels like this post is never ending (and whoever decides to read it has probably already given up! sorry guys!)
Number eight, improve my writing skills. This one is pretty self explanatory. As a college student you have to write a lot of papers...A LOT. And often times they are over topics that you're not super crazy about or interested in (not that I am THAT interest in writing about myself, but apparently some of you people must find reading about me somewhat interesting?!). So, I guess I sort of think that really getting back into blogging will/already has made the writing process in general easier and feel like something that I am actually good at.
Finally! We made it, number nine: explore the possibility of a future career that involves some form of writing and or blogging. Or just help people in general through fitness or something. My dream job would be to blog or write for the magazine Runners World. It is my favorite magazine of all time, and really made me feel like an actual "runner". Also, I knew from the minute I picked blogging back up just a few short weeks ago, that I didn't want it to just be a hobby. Lastly, I have been so inspired by my favorite blogger of all time ever, (you already know she's a runner)... Kelly Roberts. She has a website/podcast called RunSelfieRepeat. She's ran marathons, half-marathons, 10ks, etc. She is a badass runner who started the #sportsbrasquad movement and is a huge supporter of body positiviy and standing up to anyone who thinks body shaming people is okay. So yeah, pretty much I'm trying to be the next Kelly Roberts, minus the marathon running (yet) and the whole running in a sports bra thing (maybe this summer or spring break?) Okay. The end. No clue when the next post will be.