As I inch closer to my mid 30’s I grow wiser.

Wiser NOT wise. Wiser.

Countless women who have gone before me have given me their words of wisdom. Your 30’s are better than your 20’s they say, you grow in ways you didn’t know you could. Even more women have said to me that their 40’s are some of their best years yet. You are finally comfortable with who you are and what your place is in this world, you mellow they say. Much like the mom who told me in the last weeks of being pregnant with Chloe – go see a movie, every single night, together, you won’t see one for a year or more after she is born – was right – so too were these women about my 30’s. With each passing month, I learn, I grow, I leave pieces of me behind. I strengthen those that I choose to keep and I work with those that stubbornly are stuck to the puzzle piece next to them.

The older, and wisER me has tried to make a habit of reacting less. When there are many words I want to say, I remind myself that often the last word is NO word at all.

Yet in saying this there are times that words are needed. Like the I’m sorry’s I’ve recently said to two women I got in to a tiff with on twitter what feels like years ago OR the sorry I said this week when I apologized to a possible client for dropping the ball on coaching her. Sometimes it’s not about last words or being right or wrong, or even determining how you got to the point where you need to say sorry – it’s about being at peace in life. I believe words are a valuable tool to find peace.

My parents always told me actions speak louder than words and in many ways I find this to be one of the clearest truths I know about life. In other ways I know that words speak very, very loud.

I’ve been writing Mile Posts since 2009. I hope that over these years that if you have stuck around it is apparent that I have grown as a writer, a person, a mother, a friend, a citizen. There are words I’ve written that I wish I could take back and there are words I have written that I will forever be grateful to my past self for writing.

Over the years I’ve dealt with a lot of criticism. For the most part I would say that it’s been worth it. Sometimes the words that are aimed at hurting us most, actually fuel us to become better people.

In other ways I can credit some of my speed from years past to a deep anger I had inside. I could pull from that in races. I’ll never forget running during Hood To Coast with a friend by my side for safety. Get angry Dorothy. Get angry. I knew what he meant. I could run fast when angry, I just needed to channel the rage.

These days I’m not angry. Quite the opposite, I’m more at peace than ever with who I am and where I am at in life. I recently had blood work done by InsideTracker and was elated that my cortisol had dropped significantly since my last test in February {from 14 to 6.1}. I literally work on being calm, reducing stress, letting go of anger, and forgiving myself and others every day of my life.

Yesterday Women’s Running Magazine shared an article I wrote in early 2015 about my running year in 2014, arguable the hardest year of my personal life. Yet even though I wrote those words when I was not in the best of places, I stand by everything I wrote. I love those words. The words in THIS article are words of a girl who was in the process of growing. A girl who had finally realized, man it really isn’t about the time on the clock, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

I wrote that I was slowER. Not slow, slowER.

The comments on their Facebook page reminded me why I closed comments on my blog awhile back {I have since opened them again}.

Instead of reading the article and READING my words, people read what they wanted to read based on their own feelings about themselves.

They were angry that I said I was SLOW.

Only I didn’t say I was slow.

  • Slower
  • Slowed
  • Slowing
  • Slow down
  • Slow down
  • Slower
  • Slow down

These are words to describe my running, not a universal pace.

In the article I was making the point that no matter what pace we run, we all run the same race, we are all runners. Further I wanted to say that I believe from the bottom of my heart that pace doesn’t determine how much you love running. I 100 percent believe that I am just as much of a runner as Shalane even though she is a world class athlete heading to the Olympics and I can’t run one single mile at the pace she can run 26.2 of them.

  • At the end of the day, a run is a run. While sometimes people like to argue this point, that fact remains true. The person who finishes first still ran the same race as the person who finishes last.
  • The time on the clock does not determine your level of dedication or love for the sport.

 

After I ran a 3:13 at Marine Corps Marathon one of the first emails that popped up was a comment telling me how I had choked, I was slow. I later got comments about how not only was I slow but I was fat. Comments like these were part of the reason I closed comments down.

I was on top of the world with a 3:13 marathon. A 3:13 is not world class but it’s NOT SLOW, but what if it had been a 4:13 or a 5:13?! Why does it matter? I ran a marathon.

I use analytics on my blog. For a period of time the top searches landing people on my blog were all weight related. Did Mile Posts get fat?

Do you know what this feels like? To be constantly judged?

I’m fat.

I’m too thin.

She isn’t slow she needs to get over herself.

She isn’t fast she needs to get over herself.

Everyone loves an underdog. Maybe that’s why when I was struggling most I had so many people rooting for me.

She used to be inspirational but not any more.

In the eyes of many, I’m not an underdog anymore…..I have everything….

 

 

I caution you when you make this judgement about me or anyone else…..

I struggle, everyone struggles. I STRUGGLE did you read that? I struggle with self-esteem, self-worth, self loathing, depression, OCD, and generally feeling like a failure. I don’t tell you this so you feel sorry for me, I don’t want anyone’s pity. What I want is for all of us to treat each other with respect and love. I want us to stop judging each other on pace, our bodies, on what we have and don’t have.

After I wrote the #IHaveARunnersBody post, I saw comments about how I was thin and so basically what business did I have to talk about embracing our bodies.

That’s funny.

I may not be fat to you but I’m fat to someone else. I may not be fast but I am fast to someone else. I may not be slow but I am slow to someone else. I may not be thin but I am thin to someone else.

Do you see how ridiculous it is to judge others? Everything is relative.

I’m not slow but I am slowER AND I’m damn proud of who I am – I’ve fought like hell to become her.  #morelovinglessjudging

Dorothy Beal - Mile Posts - Thoughts On Being SlowER

Comments

  1. I think you know how I feel about all this but what the heck, the kid is sleeping so I’ll tell you again. Critical comments are often more about how the commenter feels about themselves, more about their own insecurities or feelings than yours. Reading and using them to start constructive dialect is the only thing they’re good for. When I wrote an article for Zelle about running with a newborn, so many comments were about how thin I was and how I couldn’t possibly have just had a baby. Some were really rude and judgmental. I wanted to show the commenters my scars, tell them what a traumatic birth I’d been through and how I could have died. How what my body looked like didn’t matter and that it really wasn’t the point. But they wouldn’t have listened because it’s not what they wanted to hear. Everyone’s hurt is their hurt and matters regardless of how others feel. Your slow is your slow, regardless of others’ slow. Yada yada yada. You get the point. Keep on being and loving, writing, running & living in a way that works for you. Let them figure out what works for them. Love you friend.

  2. paria@momontherunsanity.com says:

    Wow!! I am so sorry that you are getting this ridiculous reaction to your posts….Know that for every person who makes a negative comment, there are ten times more readers who are positive and inspired by what you write, but unfortunately are not the ones who are commenting. And as you said, many of the people making the negative comments haven’t read the whole post… haven’t really read your words. Keep writing words that are representative of your true self.

  3. Janet Chung says:

    Thank you!! I run alone 90% or more. I have a group a run with on occasion. When I run a race, I am in the middle the pack. The last time I ran with the group, I met someone new in the group and she said “I heard about you and you are fast”. I was shocked, I am not fast, the first people at a race a fast. It is so relative! We were running together, and I was faster than her. There were people faster than me. That is life. Give grace and try to accept yourself along with others.

  4. I can’t imagine what it feels like to get comments like that. I am older than you but in my older and wiser state I have learned to just never judge anyone. Specifically I don’t judge other parents. Ever. Unless I actually see you smacking your kid (which is universally accepted as being a poor parenting decision) I mind my own freakin business. Life is hard. We don’t need other peoples judgements weighing us down.

  5. JennyV says:

    As if we aren’t our own worst critics at times, I cannot imagine having those words thrown at me or around me. Yuck! Can you imagine how these people must live their everyday lives?? How unhappy!! I’m so glad that you are becoming wiser each day. Know that your Creator made you with your specific traits and qualities in mind – uniquely and perfectly you. I enjoy Mile Posts no matter the speed of the race or the final tick of the time clock. This is coming from a one and done 3:45 marathoner. I simply run 💕

  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this article. I’ve said this to so many people re: slowER or fastER…and I get nothing but snark no matter what. This is why I adore your blog! Keep up the awesomeness!

  7. I recently found your blog and I’m upset that it took me so long, although I do get the binge on past posts! I find your posts so honest and inspiring. Thank you for being brave enough to put yourself out there and dealing with the negativity. I don’t usually comment on blogs, but wanted to let you know that your words mean something, thank you!!

  8. Krystin C. says:

    You are beautiful, thanks for sharing Dorothy! I had a conversation with my 17 year old about some of these exact differences in what words mean. I didn’t say X I said Y and they are different. Come on people!

  9. I think one of the biggest issues with social media is people feel comfortable openly criticizing others under the blanket of “anonymity”. Honestly, how many of those hurtful comments would have been said in a face to face situation? And why do people get SO bent out of shape over other people’s times? There’s always going to be someone slower and faster than you, and that doesn’t give anyone carte blanche to criticize another for either their greater or lesser lack of ability! You do you, I’ll do me, and let’s just respect each other’s abilities and celebrate the fact that we can even put one foot in front of the other, when so many others can’t.

  10. Karen Cherry says:

    AMEN, Dorothy!

  11. Oh man. It’s so unfortunate that you’ve been dealing with so much negative nonsense out there on the internet from strangers (presumably?) who feel the need to tell you how you SHOULD be or should NOT be. You’re a good person; that’s what matters. Hopefully the Negative Nellies will fall to the wayside and/or get with the picture that you’re a real and genuine human with real and genuine feelings. Keep on keeping on.

  12. What a good post. So many true things about what happens when we judge. To be honest I love the #Ihavearunnersbody movement but have been reluctant to ever post anything because I feel like if you don’t have a story about losing weight and you just run because you love it and you have the same body you’ve always had that it is somehow not important enough to post. Anyway, I have been following you for about a year or more maybe and I will say I notice a DEFINITE difference in your posts. Your outlook is more positive and your words about yourself and running are kinder. Everything feels lighter. I think if you’re goal is to practice not reacting and having more inner peace on a daily basis, I think you’re achieving that. I love your posts!

  13. you are so sweet. I have subscribed on your blog. Notify me of new posts. I liked your post really. Thanks.

  14. Danielle says:

    I haven’t commented on your blog but really enjoy reading it. I ran my first marathon in March (Rock N Roll DC – which you ran!) and I ran a 4:10. I did all of my long distance training runs at a 9:30 pace and I kept that pace for the entire race. I never hit “the wall” although of course I was sore afterwards. I was able to avoid injury during training, despite a history of stress fractures. I fueled properly and felt good during the race.

    I had no goal time since it was my first full marathon. That said, I remember feeling disappointed when I crossed the finish line at 4:10. For some reason anything over 4 hours felt like failure at that moment. In reality, I was actually pretty successful given my training! Thankfully I was able to recognize my success within a few minutes after finishing the race.

    Long story short, we all need to focus on ourselves and our individual achievements. Every situation is different. Every person is different. If we all had the same goals or definition of success, this would be a pretty monotonous world. I have a wonderful husband and a great career that I am really proud of – but I am not a fast runner. We can’t have it all!

    You are a successful (FAST!) runner and an inspirational blogger. Your posts are insightful and thought-provoking. You have so much to be proud of!

  15. Great post :) I feel the same way. Thank you for putting it into such eloquent words <3

  16. I agree with you.She is thin, She is fat. All lazy peoples should aware about this fact.

  17. This is so sad and yet so inspiring at the same time. The anonymity that the internet allows bad and small minded people to make these kind of comments without really thinking about the hurt that it causes is the downside to what is essentially a great tool for communication and good. I am new to your blog but I am already in awe of what you are doing and achieving and what you have said in your post about everything being relative is so true and is something that needs to be said more often. Thank you.

  18. Thank you for that last line. It changed my outlook to how I see myself. Thanks.

  19. Hey guys, I hope i do not annoy anyone here or i hope this is not off topic at all. I have been running since i was 14 years old taking part even in competitive running and still do to this day :) I recently started a Fitness Clothing site with a great range of running and general gym gear i would like to share with you, I am really just trying to create awareness on our site and spread the benefits of fitness and a daily run :)

    If you have any advice you could give me to share my site with people that would be so kind and i would love to hear from you.

I love a good comment!

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