This morning, I was at the front desk, designing my lunchtime muscle class format. One of our members came out from the weight room to grab a towel. She asked, "got any more marathons coming up?"
I replied, without looking up, "Yes."
"Where?" she asked.
I returned her gaze, smiled and said, "somewhere." She kind of smiled back. And then, I just heard myself say, "I prefer to keep my running exploits private."
It was like diarrhea of the mouth (please pardon the vivid imagery). My words just...came out without much warning or control on my part.
She said, "oh, sorry..." and began walking away.
"That's okay!" I called after her.
I sorta felt bad.
And then, I decided it might be good to talk about it.
I mentioned in a previous post that I was learning the fine art of setting boundaries, thinking that perhaps it was a byproduct of aging. In the past, I didn't really mind having my whole life out there for all the world to see. I didn't mind who knew what about my personal life and interests. Somewhere along my physical trail, that kind of shifted and I'm not quite sure when, how or why it did.
It's been well over two weeks since Boston. I assumed people would have stopped asking me about it by now, but I'm still getting questions (four this morning, as a matter of fact). On the one hand, I feel like I should be flattered that people find me and my life interesting enough to ask. However, I'm kinda tired of talking about it. And I suppose I'm not 100% comfortable with saying that out loud.
My business is all about customer service, whether it be selling/renewing memberships, teaching group fitness classes or training clients one on one. I'm constantly interacting with people and have all kinds of professional relationships to maintain. I suppose in those instances, there is some give and take in terms of sharing experiences but I'm getting to the point where I'd rather keep things in the general sense.
The best way I've found to say it is: It's one thing to talk about "running". It's another thing to talk about "MY running".
Perhaps that's why I like the blogging so much. It gives me an opportunity to share the things I want to share about myself with the people that care to read them. It's also super duper therapeutic for me to have an outlet to make sense of all the thoughts and emotions I have. I do enjoy it, obviously, or else I wouldn't do it. I mean, I share the link to my blog on FACEBOOK, for crying out loud. I'm not THAT private. But, it's different to tell a story in a blog format once, not to mention easier.
It's important to add that I genuinely like the vast majority of the people I work for and with. Our members are great people and they all treat me well, including the person who asked me the question this morning. I enjoy conversing with all of them, particularly the ones who take my classes or share my love for running. Sometimes, you become friends with people you meet in a professional setting. I can think of several folks who I've run races and socialized with. However, it's a little different when you connect with someone on a personal level.
I'm guessing this has been building for some time now and I just didn't realize it. Or, more accurately, perhaps I did and I felt guilty for wanting to keep my private life, well, private. Almost like I should have to apologize for not wanting to be an open book.
I'm still sorting it out, but I'm aware of it now and, as we all know, awareness is the first step to finding balance. I recognize the urge to retreat inside myself every now and then. I feel a little tension when I get asked a lot of questions from people that I don't have a personal relationship with.
There, I said it.
"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."