Running, blogging, and the spirit of recognition

Running is notorious for embracing everyone, regardless of shape, size, colour, or age. OK, maybe not the really competitive runners, but I’m talking about that vast army of recreational runners who get off on seeing how well they can perform against – themselves – and who just feel so good when they’ve had a good run and maybe (or maybe not) accomplished a new time or distance. They feel empowered; they feel joy.

There’s a fabulously funny short cartoon video about a runner, posted several years ago, called I’m a Runner. Of course, part of the reason things are funny is because there’s so much truth in them, and this short video is no exception. It captures both the craziness and the personal fulfillment of recreational running. A few of my favourite lines are “You ran 15 miles on purpose? You mean using your legs and feet?” and “I thought only winners got medals. So they also give medals to the losers?” If you’re not already into long distance running, this video will only further fortify your resolve never to give it a try, whereas if you are already a runner, the video will remind you of all the reasons you love it. Either way, you’ll laugh!

Image from I’m a Runner

As the video mentions, the running world has developed a recognition system that makes everyone a winner. Everyone who finishes any race – local, regional, international – receives a finisher’s medal. It may not square with the ultra-competitive types, but it sure feels good to the sometimes thousands of also-rans who make it to the finish line, especially in the really long runs. For me, I really love the message that everyone is a winner in long distance running; you’re running for your own personal goals, whatever they may be.

The question is: does this idea of everyone being a winner translate to the blogging world? Some people blog for business purposes, in which case they’d consider their blog a winner if it attracts a large readership, especially paying ones. That’s their medal.  Non-business bloggers blog for all kinds of reasons, but there is no doubt that the way they know that what they’re posting is being read and enjoyed is through readership and responses. For some bloggers this will be the equivalent of winning, when you feel that what you have been trying to convey has been successful. But even when the number of hits isn’t as high as you might have hoped or the reactions are few, the accomplishment of communicating your thoughts, humour, photography, poetry, art, or experiences to your satisfaction and then “publishing” them should feel like crossing the finish line. It’s the blogger’s equivalent of a finisher’s medal.

Blogger “awards” are another way in which bloggers can show each other that their work is appreciated. A few weeks back, I was pleasantly surprised when CM of Cordelia’s Mom, Still nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award, which I am happy to accept. Thank you, CM!

The rules are simple and few, I’m happy to say: 

  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Nominate 6-12 bloggers who you believe deserve to be recognized. Comment on their blogs, to let the nominees know they have been nominated.

The first two have been accomplished by means of this post.

How did I start blogging? Hmmm. I had never heard of a blog or blogging when I took a few writer’s workshops at our local university several years ago. I was about to retire and was looking forward to having more time to write and illustrate stories for young grandchildren and also to write some family history. Period. Full stop. But the advice that came from nearly every workshop was: bum in seat and write, write, write; just let the words fall. And the follow-on advice was that a great way to practice writing is to start a blog. As Nike says, “Just do it!” So I took one more writing workshop, called How to Start a Blog. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My best advice to new bloggers would be this:

  1. Oh my, there is a lot of advice about blogging. Advice to choose a clear focus for your blog so your audience knows what to expect. I didn’t follow that advice! Advice for choosing a name for your blog so that it conveys what the blog is about. I started by naming my blog after the main character in my first kids’ books, Robby Robin, but of course I didn’t stick to that topic so my blog name isn’t too useful, maybe even confusing. Six years later I’m still not sure what I’d call my blog if I could start over, so clearly that advice didn’t work for me either! My first piece of advice, then, is to write about things you really enjoy writing about and thinking about. As with the most imortant advice for older runners, write (and run) to your own goals and write (and run) with joy.
  2. One of the things I love about blogging that I knew nothing about when I started was the community of blogging friends that you make. When you follow other bloggers, you find many kindred spirits all around the world. So search out blogs that cover topics of interest to you and before you know it you will have new friends far and wide. And they will read your blog posts as well. It’s all truly rewarding.
  3. Bonus piece of advice: Be careful; blogging can be very addictive! 🙂

As for nominations, there are so many good blogs for me to choose from. I have some longtime favourites that aren’t posting very frequently at the moment, so I will leave them off my list, but not because they’re not favourites (that includes you, Roy, Alesia, and Rita). I’ve found some of the following sites fairly recently, and I enjoy them all for different reasons, new and old. If you don’t know these blogs yet, hop on over and check them out:

I Can’t Believe It!

An Encore Voyage

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50

The Out and Abouter

Shallow Reflections

Aging Gracefully My Ass

Tea and Toast with Kindness

Retirement Pleasures

Heart to Heart

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10 Responses to Running, blogging, and the spirit of recognition

  1. Diane Doris says:

    Hi Jane, I posted a new blog today with the blogger award. Thanks for the nomination. What a great way to share blogs.

    Diane

    ________________________________

  2. Congratulations. That is so true, blogging is addictive. My favorite part though is getting to know others around the world. Love hearing from my blogging friends. Plus everyone is very friendly when it comes to blogging.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your similar blogging experience with addiction and making new friends. I do worry about the addiction part from time to time, but cherish the friend-making part. And thanks as well for sharing your corner of Arizona and your amazing crafts. 🙂

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    I’ll have a look at the video later Jane. Here’s another pretty hilarious one that you might have seen before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo6Pm0juNvY

    I’ll also have a look at the blog links you mentioned.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      You’re right, Roy, that video is pretty hilarious indeed. Similar theme, not surprisingly. I especially like the idea of a diet where you only eat food that starts with a vowel. Why didn’t I think of that?!

  4. LA says:

    Thank you!!!

  5. alesiablogs says:

    This resonates with me. It is perhaps like therapy for me!! My writing can be blah at times, but I release it and I am blessed when my friends respond, such as yourself! I an honored to call you my friend. I keep saying I will write my story, but it keeps changing too fast!! Haha

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Ah, thanks, Alesia. I feel the same way. And I never would have expected these strong personal connections. A bonus. I do know one thing about your life story, when you do get to it, it’s going to be a doozy! 😉

      • alesiablogs says:

        Haha. The question is when and how. All the TV shows have had guests referring to it in their lives. It is going to become more commonplace although I am pretty sure mine is one for the ages. Haha

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