Sunday, April 24, 2011

Transparency

Wanna know what the most terrifying part of blogging is?

-That you're not good at it
-You're a horrible writer
-You spell like a 3rd grader
-You don't have an original thought in your brain

-Scary Internet bullies and their anonymous comments
-You use too many commas
-People would rather read warning labels than this blog
-You're trying too hard to be funny (Thanks Sis)


Maybe I should re-phrase this....do you want to know what is the most terrifying part of blogging for me?

Transparency

I read a lot of blogs, and the ones that I can't wait to read..the ones that draw me in like a great story...the ones that you wait with anticipation for the next installment, I find are often the ones that are the most transparent.These bloggers drop any level of facade into their lives and present it to you, often in graphic detail. These blogs take you "behind the scenes" in the good, bad and ugly of their lives, and it makes for fascinating reading. I find myself thinking..."why would they say that?!?!", yet I never think worse of them for saying it.

For those of you who know me personally, you already know I tend to be extremely private and guarded. Only the closest to me see me truly transparent. Some upon meeting me for the first time have even mistaken my lack of dialogue for arrogance (INTJ). Once you get to know me this quickly fades...but I can be a tough nut to crack. Without the love and support of my lovely wife, I'd be an eccentric recluse living in a shack deep in the woods. Scratch that...I don't like the woods, I'd probably be an eccentric recluse living in the wooded suburbs not too far from a retail development...which includes a Chick-Fil-A, Red Robin and Chipotle. I also know that I can mask transparency with humor (in case you've not noticed that by the previous posts).

Knowing that by my nature, I'm private, and knowing that the blogs I find so interesting are transparent...why in the world am I even attempting this blog thing, and why would I write a blog post called transparency? Good question, I'm glad you asked. Get ready for a trip inside the mind of a crazy man...

The one element that I've discovered that bridges the gap between privacy and transparency for me?

Running.

When I run, I can be no one else. It is truly a part of my life that strips away all pretense and ego. It's just me and the road. My time, my goals, my pace. The clock does not allow for me to fade into the background. The miles do not allow me to procrastinate. My ability in any given circumstance depends completely on the amount of training that I have done along with my God-given abilities. Running does not allow you to fake it to keep up with the Joneses.

This thought began ruminating in my head this weekend during my long run. I joined some folks from the Greenville Track Club this weekend for a group run. I didn't really know what to expect. The emails I exchanged were often a bit cryptic, and in my Type A brain, I needed specifics on when, where, how fast and how long. I received none of that, but I went anyway. In every aspect of my life, prior to this point, I would have made some excuse not to go to save myself the social awkwardness of meeting new people in an unfamiliar situation. I went anyway.

The folks I met didn't care who I was, didn't care what I had done in the past, they didn't judge me. They simply asked how far I wanted to run..."Twelve? Ok we'll do twelve today"...and off we went. Over the next hour and forty-five minutes I got to speak with a great group of people, and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time. For the first 18 months or so of my running "career" I approached running like I had every other thing in life..I'm going to do my own thing...alone..and I did. In the run-up to my marathon last December every single run, with one lone exception was done completely alone. It wasn't until this year that I discovered how easy it is to meet and get to know people while you're running with them. Let's be honest, I'm a bore at a cocktail party. I've found however that there is something about running with someone that changes the dynamic to make me a conversationalist. The funny thing is that the topics are often not-running related!

Could it be that at age 38 that I've stumbled upon the thing that is the key to changing the way I relate to people...the the key that allows people in to see the "real" me? Has this been the real me covered up by a sedentary lifestyle for all these years, just waiting to be discovered?  Maybe...I guess you'll just have to stay tuned to find out what happens next...

Note: Just to demonstrate how I've grown in my ability to be transparent, I had my wife proofread my blog on transparency and ask her if I was being too transparent. (sigh) Some habits die hard I guess.

4 comments:

OtterPop said...

I think it's awesome when you discover something like you have in running. It is amazing to find a group of like-minded folks who are precisely how you described: they don't care what you've done, where you're from, etc. All they want to do is get out there and do whatever it is that you all enjoy doing.

Transparency isn't always necessary, especially in the blogging world... you can be as vague and as cryptic or as open as you want. Unless your main intent is to develop a specific audience, remember why you wanted to write a blog in the first place: because YOU wanted to! And I think you're doing a great job of it so far. Some blogs are so transparent that they are INCREDIBLY boring!

Randy said...

Jessica, thank you for your encouragement. I tend not to get all touchy-feely about things, but running has done some amazing things in my life, and has introduced me to some great people. Saying it has changed more than just my physical appearance would be quite an understatement.

Thank you for reading!

Kelly said...

You mean you're not transparent all the time? And you use sarcasm? Shocking! From one INTJ to another who has been called stuck up a time or 10....I get it! Plus, we are related, so I really get it :)

Kesha said...

I give you credit for logging all of those miles on your own! I really need the group motivation or even just a partner to get me through the long ones. I've made some good friends through Reston Runners, just because we were running the same pace a time or 2.

And, I enjoyed reading your transparency realization. It all makes sense now. Ha!