Did Not Show

20130924-084105.jpg In the world of running, there's something you never want to see next to your name.

It's even less desirable then a time you smashed five years ago when you "personnel best-ed" for the first time.

"Did not Show" or DNS is to me, the black mark of the runner.

Dramatic much?

This is of course course something I hold only myself to, because I'm my own worst critic. I think what we've got going on here is an unhealthy relationship to see things through, always.

Like if it doesn't kill me first I'm gonna see it through to the end. Some other words to say the same thing?

Relentless, merciless, uncompromising, ridged, unrelenting, unyielding .... You get the idea.

So when I opted out of the race I was supposed to do on Sunday, I quickly started beating myself up. There were a few grounds of course, but I took the high "self-criticizing" road, and when I said them out loud, all I heard was "excuses." Despite having developed some tendinitis in my heel (probably because I tried to run too high of a volume, too soon) AND having a wicked crazy schedule (which in the end I just knew I couldn't compromise with two days of post-run recovery) I felt like I was making excuses to myself.

As if I needed better reasons.

I still, even now, sitting here typing, feel like I'm making excuses.

Why? Why does there have to be a reason at all? If you can't follow through with a commitment, isn't it ok just to say "oh I can't this time?"

Is it just me, or does anyone else need to follow up "I can't" with "I can't because" ?

And if we're supposedly only doing it for ourselves anyway, (i believe in the case of fitness we should only be doing it for ourselves) then why must we feel the need to qualify a statement like this?

I think the fitness culture has done a lot of good - in motivating people to get up and move and encouraging healthier lifestyles.

Where I think it's lacking is in forgiveness; the push to make every person a super athlete who exercises to #findyourstrong and to be, above all things, committed to your #fitfluential #workoutoftheday.

I'm influenced by catchy slogans, by marketing, by Pinterest "fitspiration" boards - I'll be the first to admit it.

I think that we've gone so far the other way in telling ourselves to stop at nothing to get your run/work-out/race in. It's like it needs to be monumental if we're not going to do something - and if you don't... we've become conditioned to think we're copping out.

The running and fitness industry is a business; no more, no less. You can believe in what you sell and buy when you think it enriches your life. But if it changes your purchasing habits, if it becomes obsessive, or "relentless" then it's time to separate what you're doing from why you're doing it.

And don't forget behind every capitalist framework (bech'ya didn't think I was gonna go there!) is always the need to push more, make MORE people believe that they need MORE and need to work harder.

It's really hard sometimes to extrapolate yourself from all these "purchasing lessons" we learned from the minute we started to absorb this culture. It can also make us our own worst enemy when the tactics that have been employed to make us "go, go, go" start to worm their way into our guilt complex.

When it comes to making decisions about your body and your desire to push your limits, it has to be a personal thing:

"It's ok to say no"

So I've got a thing with "did not show" (clearly since I spent all this time going on about it). I'm trying to hone in on "next time" and #loverunning "when it works for me."