Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Running Confession

The truth finally came out today.On the one hand, I didn’t expect it to take this long, but on the other, I wished I could’ve kept it hidden for a little while longer. It happened this morning at around 10:30am on the first day of the seventh week of me at my new job. A bunch of colleagues and I were sitting in a conference room waiting for our departmental meeting to start. The conversation on the table was on those little medical ailments (like minimally high blood pressure) that we, as clinicians, were too busy to visit our own doctors for, and what each of us were doing on the side in terms of diet and exercise to stay healthy. Some people shared interesting tidbits they had gathered from the latest medical journals (apparently, the latest research shows that high sodium intake doesn’t cause hypertension, but low potassium intake does…really?) Others commented on the exercise regimens they were trying out to lose a few pounds. Eventually, the conversation shifted to me and I just froze.

Up to this point, I had kept my running life hidden from those that I was involved with in my professional life. Of course all my friends and family knew, but those at work, in this new job, had not a clue. I’m not sure why I never told anyone there. The quick and easy answer would be that the question never came up. But that would be at best a rationalization, at worse a white lie. I guess the real reason is because I was not sure how they would react and I was not yet ready to find out. I was afraid that either they would not care or care in the extent that I want them to care and I’d be insulted, or they’d care too much and start asking me questions about my running and I’d be too embarrassed to answer. In my mind, I thought I could avoid talking about it until after I show up at work one day, limping from place to place with a marathon medal around my neck. Then, there would be no need for words, no need for explanations.

But of course life never quite works out that way. So after hesitating for about a second to gather my thoughts, I told them all this morning about my running. I told them that I had run two marathons and was training to run a third in six weeks. After my “confession”, there was a couple soft “Oohs” and “Aahs” heard around the room. I waited patiently for the customary questions to begin. Only at that moment, the division chief quietly slipped into the room and sat down. We all took the cue, found our seats and the meeting began.

For the entire rest of the day, no one brought up the subject of running again, so I'm not sure if my colleagues’ perception of me changed as a result of my sudden revelation. More importantly, do they consider my running as a quirky or esoteric afterwork activity like kickboxing or wine-tasting, or do they recognize running and marathon training as a worthwhile endeavor that requires perspiration, dedication, patience and sacrifice? I’m not sure, but I’m probably going to find out in the next day or two.

1 comment:

nwgdc said...

Gosh, I would sure hope that they find it interesting and ask all kinds of questions about it, in awe of your accomplishments! It's nothing they couldn't do, per say, but I bet it's nothing they ever considered! Bring them on board!

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