In 2011 I was given an introductory course into the what I call the “Dark Side” of running. Someone who I admired, trusted and even called a close friend began a career to hurt me and my family. Why? She found out I knew of her (illegal) personal activities and I think she was scared I would reveal the truth to her followers. That time was the launching pad of many things in my life but most importantly learning that runners are people and people will hurt us and disappoint us. Lord knows, I am sure I have disappointed people in my own life!
We follow bloggers, we follow pro elites and more. When they fall, we hurt! We hurt bad. We hurt because the image of them is shattered. Do we have the right to be angry? You betcha! The persona they have created has vanished and we are left wondering who and what to believe.
We forgive, and hopefully move on but we don’t forget. Apologies can be accepted but trust is violated.
If anything, we should learn not to put someone up on a pedestal and be mindful that what we see of their persona on line is never who they are at home or at work. Is is fake? Yes and no. You don’t see my medical struggles, and I don’t want to share visual pictures of my vertigo attacks or worse. You see pictures of me smiling with my husband, friends or brother. You don’t see the crying photos. The photos that look like I got run over by a truck. I create the “persona” on IG because that is what social media is for you and me – you know it and so do I.
Find your inspiration in others is okay, but be mindful that nothing and no one is as they appear to be on social media. Our food isn’t always that pretty, our hair isn’t always perfect. If you want real life – look within your own family and neighborhoods. Real life in real time.
Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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