I did not grow up as an open book; sharing my thoughts and feelings. To the contrary, I was often closed off and to myself most of the time. When I started writing this blog back in 2010 the intention of it was to give me a medium in which to express what I was going through as I started trying to regain control of my life, both in health and in mind. This has not always been welcomed, especially by the few people I know that are really close to me (i.e. family, exes, etc.). Most of the people who read this blog don’t know me in person, and if they know me now it was through this blog. All they know is John the Fat Slow Triathlete. They’ve never known John the Timid Child, nor John the Angst Ridden Teenager, nor John the Football Player, nor John the Bassist Player, or even John the Squid. These are persona’s I have worked through as I have walked these 51 years of life, and they are all still a part of me. The only difference is, as I grow older, I am less inclined to hold my opinion about subjects, and that includes myself.
At times, and I fully admit this, I have shared things that probably should not have been shared, because they upset people, and that was never my intent. I never write something with the thought in mind to hurt someone. In fact, when I think it will hurt someone I take strides to make it as anonymous as possible while still conveying the message, but still … someone will see it posted, either here or on the many pages it posts to, and make it a priority to inform whomever they feel I was talking about. I have written about this before, so not to reiterate, or beat a dead horse too much, if I did not use a name it means I am not attacking, or specifically talking about, a specific person. I may use an example that a specific person wrote, or did, or commented on, which brought a subject to mind, but if a name is not used that normally means it’s something I have seen from a number of people.
Sharing feelings or thoughts is a touchy area. For one, it is not my normal operating procedure to write things down for the world, so I have to force myself to do it most of the time. Sharing your inner thoughts, especially when it comes to fears and doubts, and ESPECIALLY as a man, leaves yourself open to many comments and ridicule. The internet has given voice to the great unwashed of the world; a platform for which they can attack anyone or anything from the relative safety of their home. For those of us that can remember, think back to when you were growing up and someone said something you did not agree with. How many of us would have looked that person in the eye and said “you’re just a freaking idiot”? Not many, and if you did you stood a better than average chance of getting the crap knocked out of you (not shot, because when I grew up people actually fought … with fists … you know … like MEN … and not cowards hiding behind weapons).
As a triathlete this can be even more concerning, and as a triathlete that is not a normal Type A personality as most are in the sport. Admitting to a weakness is tantamount to wearing a dress (if you’re a guy that is, not that there’s anything wrong with that.). Most will be supportive, for sure, at least to your face, but more than that will jump on you with comments like “harden your fat ass up”. If you don’t believe me go peruse SlowTwitch or the sub-reddit for triathlon. Read the comments. I was told on one of them to “shut my fat ass up” just today. I have no idea who that person is, nor do I care, but I bet a dollar they (he or she) would never make that comment if I was standing in front of them.
In any case, most of the input I get from sharing these thoughts have been positive. More often than not they outweigh the few assclowns who feel the need to attack what I write. It is especially gratifying to hear when someone reads something I have written about a fear and sends me a message saying “thank God I am not alone in this”. It is that reason I write about what I write about, and will continue to do so. Writing things out in the blog helps me work through thoughts I have floating in my head. Most of the time when I sit down to write a post I have no idea where it is heading. It is a data dump of thoughts and feelings onto paper (or at least virtual paper). I rarely edit these thoughts, and quite a few times have written things that prove, after being skewered, not true (at least as far as science … feelings are always true) and I will correct them in another post or on the comments page where they showed up. I don’t mind being corrected, as long as it’s in a positive way.
One of my intentions for 2015 is to not get into social media wars about “feelings” or “thoughts”, especially into what I call “article wars” where people say “I believe this” and posts an article that supports their view-point. My feeling is that for every article someone posts there’s another article showing the exact opposite. And then the war is on. They post one. I post one. They post another. I post another. and it never ends. For the most part, people are going to believe what they want to believe and no article is going to sway them. There are numerous studies now that show carb loading the night prior to a race doesn’t work and actually can hinder performance, but if someone has always done it, never had an issue, and believe in it, no article I post is going to change their mind. No article is going to change a Democrat into a Republican, or vice versa. None. So why go through that exercise. It’s time wasted on a no win situation.
I have been failing at this so far in 2015. I will try to do better.
This post is an example of my needing to get thoughts out of my head.