Thursday, July 05, 2007

And then I reached out and gave you all a big hug

It is a little strange getting email from strangers asking questions to which you don’t have answers. Not because you don’t know answers, but because you never thought about it before.

As several who know me as well as my blog-type friends might have figured out by now, I’m seriously bad about getting to the emails. I read them all, I really do. And then, when I don’t have time to respond thoughtfully and completely well, I sometimes don’t come up with anything at all. So I just think I’ll do it later. Like later when I say I’ll update the links or when I say I want to revamp this site but then I never do. Because I run out of time, or don’t know where to go or what to do and am too busy/tired/dense to say HELP ME.

Anyway. Tangent. Oops.

Some things, though, beg a response. And being that I’ve had the question before, I’m even more excited that I now, too, have an answer!

I can’t figure you out. You talk about so many different things and seem to have too many different passions. I just can't figure out what kind of blog this is?

That was the inquisition I read over my caffeine yesterday morning. At first, I wanted to blow it off. “Too many different passions.” What 's that about? Perhaps, though, I know what it means. I do bounce around a lot here. I’ve had people say “I thought ‘Just Run’ would be more about running.” But you know, I never did. I thought, when I started writing here, that running was just a huge part of me, but not entirely me. And over the last year and a half, it’s been apparent that some people don’t want all the rest.

When I talk about running, races, shoes and knee injuries, I do enjoy it. Love it, in fact. If I didn’t have running, it’s tough to tell what kind of shape I’d be in (in every sense). But my emailer is right, there’s a lot more. I can go for weeks without talking about running because I’m hung up on people, the beach, music and a host of other distractions. Equal to running, I don’t know what life would be like without all these other obsessions, either.

Then I got to the part of the email that I found really interesting. The part I know an answer to for sure.

What kind of people do you expect to come here?

In short: Any people.

All of you I’ve found “out there” are who I want to come here. It matters not what you look like, what you wear, where you work or what you drive. It doesn’t occur to me that you might be different than me or that you have lost your hair or that you might write run-on sentences. I don’t think about if we like the same movies, make the same amount of money or have been to the same places. And I am so thankful that is the case.

Our lives and passions all intersect in some way, and somehow, we’ve all intersected here. That, for me, is what it’s about. You come to see me, I come to see you. I comment, or not. You comment, or not. It is what it is. This is all likely to end in much the same fashion it began, fairly uneventfully. But when it does, I’d like to think I opened myself and my words to everyone and always made it clear that you don’t have to be a woman or a runner or single or flip-flop wearer or anything else to relate to me. You just have to be you.

We are what we are. And I can’t thank you enough.


Danielle said...

I get to post first!! And I so agree with you there. I like reading about the other things in your life too. It's interesting how the "blog world" can just draw us all in like this. I mean I know so much about you but I don't really "know" you, but I do know that if I did "know" you (and if I get out in your neck of the woods I might have to meet up with you!) we'd get on famously! My blog started as running, but like you, there is a lot more out there...I have so many things I need to get out in mine too...I say though, keep on posting as I'll keep on reading!

Sizzle said...

ok so really, who ARE these people who email such inquiries?! what kind of questions is that?? lots of people blog about their lives which means one day it could be happy, one day it could be sad, one day it could be about cookies and the next about traffic. that's the beauty of blogging- anyone can participate and anyone can find their niche.

appletini said...

I really enjoy reading you blog! AND I loved this post. I agree with sizzle.... who are these people?
Any way, you keep blogging about anythng you want.... because that's life ;)

Josh said...

Here! Here! You just blog about whatever you like. I'll keep being a married man, a runner and a frequent flip-flop wearer.

Bre said...

Have I told you lately that I adore you? Cause I do, and I adore this post.

The thing is - we're a bit opposite, you and I. I teeter about in high heels and spurn my sneakers - you're more than willing to strap them on and head out and get good and sweaty.


We have so much in common that those exterior, superficial differences don't mean squat. THAT is why blogging is so powerful and so important! Because without it, I'd surely never have "met" you!

justrun said...

Danielle- I agree. And don't worry, I am not shutting up. :)

Sizzle- I don't know. They are not mean, just very inquisitive. People, person... who knows!

Apple- Oh no worries, I will keep on. Who knows what makes people ask some questions?!

Josh- Sounds like a plan to me!

Bre- Fo sho! :) And really, I don't know why people sweat in heels when they could be sweating in sneakers. :) I adore you, as well, m'dear!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Personally I would find it really frustrating to blog about only one topic anyway. I know people who do, but I could never figure out how they manage to stay on topic month after month.

Celebrate variety, I saw!

justacoolcat said...

Was this a post about running?

I just can't figure you out.

Sempre Libera said...

I first came to your blog through another runner blog, but I love it because you write about so many things (and because you're such a good writer!).

I've had discussions with various people about how the most "successful" blogs focus on a particular topic. Which I guess is true if you're looking to establish an authoritative voice about something... but I think that means these personal blogs fall into another category completely. And that's just fine with me!

egan said...

Ha, I was going to email you a question about a comment you made on my blog. I might hold off on that now.

justrun said...

Barb- I agree. Same ol' is BOOOORRRRING.

JACC- Likewise.

SL- I agree. I have never been a niche-y person, I don't think.

Egan- You were not. :)

Backofpack said...

Great post. I think it's very strange you get emails like that - I mean, it's your blog! Balanced people have more to write about than just running (oops... I must not be balanced, I write mostly about running...)

craig said...

Your philosophy of blogging makes sense to me. The fact that you write about life (of which running is a part) is one of the reasons I read here. I enjoy the variety.

The fact that you write well, are creative, thoughtful, make me laugh and think are some of the others.

I suppose if one's purpose is to grow a huge readership, targeting a specific audience would be a good strategy. If, however, the goal is to have a meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences then all that is needed is the integrity to express yourself clearly.

And you do a great job of that.

justrun said...

Michelle- Yes, balance. Thank you.

Craig- That's a really wonderful comment and compliment! Thank you very much.

Sister Buckle said...

Bloggin is wonderful because it's made of 'posts' and does not require us to 'state our thesis' before we begin. It's just what occurs to you on any day, and I think that's a wonderful way to get to know other, and yourself, because you have just written down what you were moved to write down. Looking back, you may have lots of different themes, but it would be remiss of anyone to say there are not strong, main thought streams.

It's a beautiful, different way to express yourself, and for others to get a multi-faceted view of a personality without a vested interest or hard line.

So organic!

Dawn said...

Hey...I AM a woman...and SINGLE...and A RUNNER...and a FLIP FLOP WEARER.

What a coincidence! :)

justrun said...

SB- Girl, you have more thought in your one comment than I had all day. :) thanks!

Dawn- And it's all good, too.

brookem said...

this is a great post. blogging is so great for the wonderful people and connections you can make! you are a great writer by the way.

Nicole said...

OMG - catching up on your posts. First let me say I love your blog - because it is not just about running. And, second why would someone criticize you for being you - they suck!
I swear if I had blogging best friends I would want you to be one because you are awesome.

The Exception said...

A blog is interesting. So much is taken from the title, which may not be as reflective of the content as a reader would like.

I enjoy reading what you write. There is so much here - your thoughts, impressions, feelings, and fabulous pictures that bring us all that much closer to your island getaway.

I love your quotes on summer too!

adam said...

YES! Keep on posting about whatever it is you want to post. And I will too! Although I came to your blog because you and I are both runners. We are also people with lives that are so much more than just running. I have often thought about the same issue, since my blog was begun out of a running obsession. Now my blog is just where my activities and thoughts can be put out there, into the ether.