Public Sphere vs. Private Sphere

5670kelly / Pixabay

A friend of mine recently commented that my life seems to totally revolve around fitness lately.  I haven’t talked to this friend much recently, so she’s getting her info entirely from Facebook and my blog.  She meant it as a joke, knowing full well that there were clearly other things going on in my life, but it got me to thinking.

In the blogging world, there seem to be two camps of bloggers – those who share everything about their lives and those who really endeavor to keep parts of their lives private.  Nothing wrong with either camp, but it sometimes leads people to make assumptions about the people writing the blogs they read.

I’m a fairly open person with my friends, but when it comes to my blog and my internet presence, there are certain things that I don’t publicize.  I never talk about my job, for example.  I have one and I love it and if we meet in person, I will tell you all about it, but I don’t feel the need to mix work and blogging.

I’m pretty sure that my Instagram account is currently at least 75% cats.  I realize this makes me seem like a crazy cat lady.  I used to fight against this title, now I just rock it.  Whatever.  I have cats and they are awesome.  They are furry little jerks, but I love them just the same.  The other 25% of my account is either fitness related or random things I felt like taking pictures of.

But while fitness and cats and random photos might make up 100% of my social media life, they certainly don’t make up 100% of my life.  It’s not that I’m intensely private by any means.  In fact, I’m pretty much an open book.  But social media is incredibly public and the internet is forever.  When I’m 80, I’m not going to be embarrassed about posting pictures of my cats or my running and triathlon stuff on the internet.  (When I’m 80, I’m not going to be embarrassed about anything, I’m going to be awesome because I’m 80.)  But I don’t feel the need to detail my relationships or vagueblog about friendships.

I’d like to think it’s obvious that there are elements of my life that I’m not sharing, but I think for other bloggers, the line isn’t as obvious, and I see people commenting about it.  “Man, that girl is boring.  All she does is workout and watch tv.”  (Hey, who hasn’t had a week like that?)  Or “She only posts pictures of her baby, never her older kids.  I bet she has a favorite.”  Maybe that blogger posts pictures of the baby because the older kids don’t want to be on social media.  Baby pictures are always adorable, but I’m glad there aren’t tons of pictures online of my awkward years (which perhaps are still continuing, the jury’s still out on that one).

I sometimes think that people tend to overshare on social media. Some bloggers do seem to write about absolutely everything, and that’s their choice.  I simply believe that you should think before you type and decide if what you are about to say is something you really want out there forever.


Search Terms Of Late

I love going through my search terms and seeing how people are finding my site.  For the most part, it makes sense.  People looking for particular race information, reviews of something I’ve written about, etc.  Lots of searches for post-workout headache advice.  But then there are the outliers.  And they are always enjoyable.  Some recent highlights:

A number of people found my site searching for should i skip swim practice.  My coach would say no.  Unless you are bleeding or dying.  Or there is lightning.

lifetime indoor tri wetsuit – No.  Do not wear a wetsuit at an indoor triathlon.  Ever.

xl curvy babes – Sorry, yo.  Not that sort of site.  But every so often, there are pictures of me in spandex, so…

iron girl columbia 2014 is it hilly – Depends on your definition of hilly.  But yes.

boob kirma – I had to google this one and then regretted it.  I am not a porn star.

i can untie my shoes – Good job you?

can i get jock itch and blisters from not changing underwear – Yes.  Also, that’s gross.

stronger jeff bauman sparknotes – Seriously?  Read the damn book.

is fat shaming okay – You have to ask this?

2014 Highlights

Image from page 98 of "Three-part songs for the use of the pupils of the public schools of Canada" (1869)

I don’t know about anyone else, but the year flew by for me, and it’s hard for me to pick out my person 2014 highlights.  I still struggle with not writing 2013 on paperwork and suddenly I’m going to have to write 2015?  Life so hard.

In January, I ran another marathon.  It was a good accomplishment, but not something I particularly enjoyed.  Then I got a mole removed and reminded everyone to wear sunscreen.

In February, we caught a mouse in the office.  It’s a story we still tell.  I ran another half marathon and my parents ran a 10k in costume.

In March, TriColumbia disbanded and it sent us all into a panic about our upcoming races.  And I worked on my swimming.

April meant that everyone in the running community was paying attention to what was going on in Boston.  Also, I ran back to back half marathons.  Yikes.   I volunteered at a race.

May started with another half marathon.  I struggled through an open water swim and it freaked me out a bit.  But the month ended with some quality open water swimmingSwimFest was exactly what I needed.   Also May was insane work-wise, so I didn’t blog a lot.

In June, I started working with a coach and it was the best decision I made all year.  I did my first tri of the season and ended up on the podium!  I got a professional bike fit and Ethel and I are so much happier now.

In July ,I paid a stupid amount of money to have my closet professionally designed and it was the second best decision I made all year.  Columbia Pedal and Paddle was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time, but I’ll do it again.  One of my fall races got cancelled, which meant I was probably going to register for something else.

August was insane.  I raced a hilly triathlon at Fort Ritchie.  I went to Vegas, kayaked near the Hoover Dam (and never wrote about it, apparently), then”ran” a midnight half marathon.  I did the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon and improved greatly from last year.  I ended the month by doing 24 Hours of Booty, and I will be back again in 2015.

September was less busy.  Though I didn’t write about it eloquently, I was honored to attend the Flight 93 Memorial events on September 11.  I ran a local ten miler as a training run.  I finished the month with my first olympic distance triathlon.  And I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t been on my bike since.

I started October at a Notre Dame football game.  AWESOME.  I ran the Army Ten Miler.  And, of course, everyone freaked out about Ebola.

In November, I was glad to not be marathon training.  I announced that I’m one of the 2015 Cherry Blossom social runners.  I sang with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (well, my choir did).  And the month ended with the best half marathon I’ve run in a long time.

And so we reach December.  With no races, I slogged through my training plan.  I got jock itch and blogged about it, but not in great detail because ew.  I petted many doggies on holiday break.   And I wrote this post for you.

2014 in Review – Popular Posts

I did a lot of writing this year.  I did a lot of rambling this year.  So I thought I would look back and see what the popular posts were according to number of hits.  They’re not all from this year, but they sure got a lot of views this year.  Next week (or so), I’ll look back and decide what my favorite posts were, but for now, let’s see what you all read.

Post-Run Headache Cure – this is an oldie but a goodie, and something that may help new runners struggling with headaches after a run.  In short, I was struggling with crushing headaches after my long runs and couldn’t figure out why. The solution turned out to be deliciously simple.

Product Review – Homedics Rapid Relief – I almost didn’t include this one because it was a sponsored product review, but seriously, these little TENS devices have been awesome.  When I pulled my back, these gave me such relief.  This blurb isn’t sponsored whatsoever, but a cheap little TENS device (whether this brand or another) might be a good item in your healing arsenal.

A slightly different Disney Princess Race Report – I will forever love Disney, and I love what runDisney stands for.  I don’t always love the people who participate in runDisney races.

Is it cheating? – If the race lets you cut the course, is it cheating to cross the finish line and take a medal?  Is it right to take a finisher’s medal if you didn’t cover the whole distance?  At the end of the day, my opinion is the same.  You do what is right for you.  I don’t have to live with the decision, you do.

Disney Marathon Race Report – Have I mentioned how glad I am to not be doing this race for the third year in a row?  I’m so glad to not be doing this race for a third year in a row.

Another popular post was from back in the summer of 2013, when I posted a picture of my race medals as a bling update.  I should definitely revisit that.  My medals collection is getting out of control.  As Betsy joked, if I earn any more medals, the wall is going to fall down.

Not Yet Dead

I didn’t write a workout recap for last week.  Why?  Because there was nothing to write about.  Ahh, the joys of being sick.  I think I’m on an upswing, but I have guests coming into town, so I’ve got to figure out how to squeeze in workouts while also being entertaining and charming and making sure the cats don’t barf on the guests’ stuff.

Cats, man.  Fuzzy little jerks.

So what have I been doing since I’m not working out?

  • Sleeping a lot.
  • Researching brewing my own kombucha.  Anyone know anything about this?
  • Reading Amy Poehler’s new book, which is excellent.  I love Amy Poehler though, so I’ll probably love everything she ever does.  I’m a little biased.
  • Cleaning my house (see previously mentioned houseguests).  If only I would learn to pick up after myself on a regular basis.  Maybe when I’m a grown-up.

What have you been up to?