It took me a long time to work up the courage to start blogging. I forget how I even came across the whole “Healthy Living Blog” community, but once I found one or two blogs I liked, I was hooked. Soon I was devoting tons of time every day to reading, learning and, admittedly, obsessing.
I have always loved writing — I’m a writer and editor during the 9 to 5 hours — and I thought it could be fun to create my own blog. I never really thought about people actually reading what I would write. (Mom, I knew you’d read it. You’re a nice lady.) I have no expertise in any real subjects, but I wanted somewhere to document my workouts and just write freely, about things other than dance competitions and sequins (that’s the 9 to 5 job, and I am not complaining because sequins, fringe and leg warmers rule).
At the time, about a year ago, the big thing on my mind was running.
I had run a few half marathons but had only done three or four races. Racing was a pretty foreign idea to me. I just liked running. But suddenly it seemed everywhere I turned, some blogger was training for a marathon. I didn’t really realize that was an option. I thought running a marathon was only for crazy people.
And maybe it is.
Call me crazy. (Really, go ahead. Everyone else does. It’s fine.)
So I eventually started Ali On The Run. I liked blogging from the start. I liked having somewhere to “go” to jot down what I had done that day, and I especially like it now that I can look back and remember exactly what I did a year ago on this day.
And that’s what I did this morning, randomly.
I looked up my post from October 25, 2010. And I was like, “Oh, Ali. You have changed.”
When I started blogging, I quickly fell into the trap of “doing what everyone else was doing.” I blogged twice a day, because other people blogged twice a day. In the morning I wrote about my morning run and at night I’d recap my day a bit and write about whatever gym workout I had done.
I’m pretty sure I stopped actually living life for a while and I was only writing about it and going through the motions. I promise you, life is not as much fun that way. So don’t fall into that trap like I did, mmmk?
I now only blog once a day, which I’m much happier with. It takes less time and, frankly, I don’t have that much to say most days. I can only write so much about Crohn’s disease at a time before I want to hit myself. I’m sure you understand.
I’m always wanting to make Ali On The Run better (Super-Shameless Plug: If you’re a fan, feel free to head over to Shape to vote for me in the Blogger Awards!), but blogging for me has become much more than writing down workouts or documenting my training.
I’ve learned a lot about myself both by writing my own blog and by reading other blogs. I read stuff I like and I read stuff I don’t like. Ultimately it helps shape who I am, and it helps shape what I’m doing here.
So what’s my point? I have one in here somewhere…
Reading that post from a year ago kind of shocked me. I don’t think you ever really realize when you’re changing, whether it’s for better or for worse. I am in a far better place on October 25, 2011, than I was on October 25, 2010.
But one year ago on this day, I thought I was the happiest girl alive.
I was eating oats and pumpkin stuff. I was doing what I saw “everyone else” doing, so I figured it must be good. Nothing wrong with oats and pumpkin, but I can think of things I enjoy more.
Like Entenmann’s “granola bars” and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Part of growing up and growing wiser is being independent and figuring out who you are and who you want to be and, of course, finding all the ways to make those things happen. I never want to follow the crowd and “just be like everyone else.” If I have things in common with other people, that’s great, but otherwise, you can find me doing my own thing…while wearing leg warmers and doing jazz hands.
Over the past year of blogging, I’ve questioned myself plenty of times, especially all those times I’ve seemed to be doing the exact opposite of what many others seemed to be doing. And to that, I say it’s OK. In fact, I say it’s great. You don’t have to be like everyone else. I think we all learned that on “Sesame Street” back in the day, but it’s still pretty relevant.
There are tons of trends and fads and things “everyone is doing” in the blogging world, depending on what you’re reading. But I’m OK with not doing those things. Examples?
- I am a runner but I’m not on DailyMile
- I do not have a dog (damnit)
- I don’t always believe in running “3 or 6 easy miles” (not always easy, no matter the number of miles)
- I have never had overnight oats or oats in a jar and those things confuse me because I always thought oatmeal was supposed to be served hot
- Dessert for me will never be a square or “disc” of dark chocolate — it will be a brownie, or a pan of brownies, or a cup of brownie batter dough, and I will like it and probably eat it with ice cream
- Peanut butter is the only nut butter I know, unless Nutella counts
- I feel weird taking pictures of my food when I go out with friends
I questioned these things for a while in my early blogging days, but I’m far from over them now. What works for others does not work for me. I respect the sunflower-butter-eaters of the world, and power to you if you’re happy without eating dessert after every meal. That’s discipline, my friends, and I just don’t have it.
If on October 25, 2012, I’m still blogging, and my posts then are filled with pictures of me cooking healthy, oat-y dishes, that’ll be fine.
It won’t be fine, though, if on October 25, 2012, I still look like this:
Last night I did some big-time foot icing. Translation: Brian wrapped up my foot into a cast-like thing with an ice pack and ace bandage and I whimpered the entire time about it being “too cold.” I am the ultimate wimp.
No running again today. That makes my heart feel sad.
But in excellent news, I feel the Steroids working a bit more every day and I’m pleased to say that I think in one week, this Crohn’s flare-up will be a silly, distant memory. And I’ll be running by then. Because my foot is fine. Really. I haven’t self-diagnosed myself with any life-altering injuries…like a stress fracture…or a broken leg…or cholera.
With that, I am off to tackle the day. I am feeling energized and productive. I love fall.
One last thing: Thank you for reading Ali On The Run. You are nice and I love the daily comments, messages and interactions. I wonder all the time if I’ll still be blogging in six months or in a year, mostly because I wonder if the Internet is really going to stick around or if soon everyone will just interact through telepathy or something. Science is crazy.
Have a nice day!