Think for a moment. How was Running before social media? In my opinion? Tough man heaven for introverts.
Have you ever thought that running Without music was the only choice 20 years ago because there wasn’t any device portable enough to carry comfortably while running?
You didn’t run with a Walkman ¡¡ ( You do know what is that, right?)
The first iPod was released on October 23, 2001. I am a tech geek, so I have had all of the versions, since day 1. ( also a Sony mini disk, and if you don’t know what is that, google it, it was the coolest thing ever, before the iPhone or the palm , yes google that too)
Race medals were tiny and made of pewter, not shiny and bright like now.
Imagine Having to “drive” your route to make sure it was 10 miles before actually running it?
And I am saying “Man Heaven” on purpose because marathon running was mainly done by men 25-30 years ago, and it was (is) a demanding sport.
Thanks, Oprah. You make women start to run.
Oh, and what we did? We women invented the selfies, ( we are not going to blame you on that too, guys) Now, if you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen, right?
Let me take you a little back in time. How was running before Social Media
Think about running without a watch, phone, water, without being able to “upload” and review your time and pace, or post on social media after?
I have been running for almost 25 years now, long before our watches shared our daily experiences on social media. And I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic about that now gone time.
My first marathon was in 1999. I started running in 1997. I wait two long years to even dare to attempt running a marathon.
Now, technology, marketing, and social media have changed everything. Most likely for the better.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, but it’s hard to ignore how marketing has changed what used to be a straightforward sport.
Around 20 years ago, we were only a few, and everyone knew everybody else on the running trails or track.
- Less than 10 races per year in BIG CITIES. There were no more than 10 races during the year in Mexico’s main cities. Also, in the USA, the number of races was significantly less. And all were organized by local running clubs.
- Registration lotteries were nonexistent .it took one month, maybe more, to fill up runners’ registration quotas in top marathons like Chicago, New York, Berlin. Disney marathons took a couple of months, if not more, and not a couple of hours like today,
- You knew you had qualified for Boston by just crossing the finish line of your selected marathon and checking the official time clock. You didn’t have to be the fastest in your age group like today and run at least 5 minutes under the qualifying time to have a chance
- Every time you came across another runner, you said Hi! Yes, courtesy exist ¡¡
- You kept your training log in a notebook , handwriting everything or a Runners World training log where you wrote your times, shoe miles, etc., by hand.
- You didn’t share times or selfies. You shared reading material, magazine pieces, training methods, and it was about science, statistics, and numbers, not about soul and mysticism.
- Running a marathon was reserved for “experts,” and you had to wait at least 2/3 years to DARE racing one due to the fear and respect a marathon inspired. Today, the average finishing time has increased by one hour, for men from 4 to 5 hours and for women from 4:30 to 5:30 hours.
- A serious runner will never use Adidas shoes because it was a brand with almost no market share within the sport; neither was considered a tech brand. It was a “soccer” Brand. Today, they sponsor the world’s most crucial marathon, Boston.
- There weren’t any water stations every few miles; neither energy gels nor the runners’ package was expected to have a food supply. Gatorade and Kellogg are changed that while also helping make novice runners overweight.
- When group training, you trained along with the group’s most experienced runner, who most likely had 10 /15 years running and was also an experienced marathon runner with near pro-level personal bests., not the famous guy
The Big era of Running AFTER SOCIAL MEDIA
We now treat running as it is t the only sport on earth. ( well, in Mexico and Brazil, they believe it is soccer) Like seriously, the ONLY that can change your life.
What surprises me the most is those mottos stating “we are better,” “we are unique,” “those crazy misfits” that come up again and again in social media.
Let’s be realistic
We all started more or less the same; when you ask a runner from anywhere in the world about how they started, they will all tell you something like this…
“I couldn’t run 100 yards without getting tired…”, “it changed my life…” are we really so different?
Every sport has a learning curve. If you ask a triathlete, cyclist, football player, surfer, tennis player, karate black belt, or yogi, every one of them will tell you that theirs is a beautiful sport. And that sport changes their life.
In my opinion, what changes your life is not running, but to start exercising, being a potato couch no more! I don’t run “with my heart” or get mad because I missed registration to a race, I don’t use running as a socializing tool or to flirt with men, and neither I want to spread the word to everybody or impose my passion.
I do it because I feel passionate about it.
The first time I fell in love was with books, then with my first boyfriend, now torn out best friend, and then with running.
So basically, my values are knowledge, Love, and Health, and I would add travel. But I do not see running as a life transformation experience per se.
I say “Health” and not “Running” because I enjoy MOVEMENT; my best place is OUTDOORS. I thrive in nature or simply outside. And for me outside, it’s not walking at the Mall.
FIND A SPORT THAT YOU FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT IT
What changes lives, in my opinion, is FINDING YOUR PASSION. And finding a sport that makes you want to be healthier and MOVEMENT is essential for your wellbeing and mental health.
Doesn’t matter if it is running, walking, hiking, karate, American football, soccer, dancing, golf.
Our bodies need MOVEMENT TO THRIVE.
But NOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS BLURRING that reality and has surround running with an MYSTISIMS that very few experiences.
Now everybody feels the “need” to run…(a marathon) to find connection transformation and magic, and the reality is that it is not a sport for everyone.
Today most of what I read in social media is about grounding one’s identity in “I’m a runner,” “I’m different,” and damn those who, for whatever reason, no longer can run; their self-esteem is no more.
- It is more important to share than to run, to understand why and how you should run. It is a sport, not a religion, at least it’s how I see it
- Everyone wanted that medal without really knowing what it is all about. The effort.
“Love to run” is not the same as “know how to run.”
Today’s websites supposedly specialized in running hire “copywriters” to post advice, suggestions, training plans, nutrition plans, and motivational quotes” and all that those persons do is copy-paste whatever they find on the web.
They are not experts and don’t know why they are posting those suggestions or what scientific evidence supports them.
Most advice is old or just a copy-paste of what was published in Runners World DECADES AGO. The miss information is OVERWHELMING.
This results in all of us being “experts,” “unique,” and “we run from the heart.”
After so many years, running is part of my life; I studied the subject, got certified, try to learn a little bit more every day, and still feel the same passion I felt like a beginner, but I don’t think I’m better than others, nor different, nor a misfit, nor an expert,
As a Coach, I believe that if running is really for you. You will feel propelled to do it, without any RACE, WATCH, MUSIC, Motivation will always find YOU. Like love.
It is an INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. That one lasts forever. That is where you find your passion.
If you are looking for EXTRINSIC motivation, you will always struggle with running, and you will be carried away by whatever SOCIAL MEDIA TREND IS GOING.