Usually there are very few people outside when I run, but the day being so beautiful, no one could resist. I had quite the audience and decided not to use my music. Why? Well, remember the death of Zaggy? I've tried using my husbands earbuds as a replacement but the constantly fell out and really hurt my ears. In fact, I've developed a sore in one of them. Long story to say that lately I've been going without headphones and letting the music blare. I'm a pleaser and really didn't want to annoy anyone with my music. BIG MISTAKE! Music is how I pace myself. I started off way too fast. Around a 7:30 pace, which is completely unsustainable for me. I tried to level out, but I had a hard time getting into a rhythm without my music. Finally, after the first five minutes I decided it didn't matter if I had my music playing. Obviously, if I can barely hear it, the music really isn't going to bother other people. The rest of the run was pretty regular, though my first two walking breaks were much slower than I like.
After arriving home, I went out to do some work on our flower bed. A neighbor, who obviously had seen me running, stops by and makes this statement, "You should be running, you make the rest of us look bad." Hmmm...My initial reaction was shock. Who tells someone they shouldn't run? Really? Just because I'm big, I shouldn't be out there trying to improve myself? I was nice to him, I said something about that being what summer is for and let it go. The more I thought about it, the more upset I found myself. That was until I realized I had a decision. I could choose to be offended by his comment or take it as a compliment. My mind immediately took a different train of thought. His wife is a runner, and is expecting any day. I'm sure she is miserable not being able to get out there. Maybe, just maybe, she has been getting after her husband to go and exercise. Maybe he felt guilty. Maybe he really thought, "if she can get out there and run, what excuse do I have?" As soon as that last maybe crossed my mind I had my epiphany. That is the whole reason I started this blog. To show everyone, if I, at 260 lbs, can get out and run, SO CAN YOU! People may make comments, they may not even realize the forty-two different ways each comment can be interepreted. What it comes down to is MY decision. No one can offend me, I control that. I choose not to be offended. I take it as a compliment that a seemingly fit young man may be embarrassed that he doesn't get out and run as much as I. I'm proud of who I am. The praise from multiple neighbors, friends and family completely outweigh any miss-worded comment on my goals. There is always one thing to remember, I'm sure he didn't mean to upset me. He is a very kind person and would never say anything mean, it just came across that way at first. Rarely (though it does happen) do people intend to hurt with their comments, we just need to take it in stride and find our own self-worth. I'm still working on that one ;)