The reason why I love pouring over WordPress Reader using running as a tag is because I can discover fantastic new blogs. Some months ago, I discovered See Fleck Run and it was love at first read! Her self-deprecating humor and whimsical stick figure drawing endeared me. She writes honestly about the joys and hardships of running without falling into the tired clichés that we so often see in blogs. I read her first post and laughed and laughed until tears came to my eyes. Then I did, what I rarely do. I binge-blogged; I read the WHOLE BLOG. Yes, I went all the way to its conception and READ EVERY POST. I really should have been working, but I loved SFR so much that after every post, I told myself, “Just one more post. Just one more post.” Its quirky humor is addictive. It’s one of those blogs where I’m honestly surprised that it doesn’t have a million followers.
Fleck kindly agreed to be interviewed by me (questions in bold). Read this interview, then head over to See Fleck Run and binge-blog.
Tell us a little about yourself. Were you athletic as a child?
I was a high-energy kid, but, it would be unfair to the athletes I knew to classify myself as athletic. I can’t remember a time when, as a kid, I ran a distance beyond the 200 meter without quite literally quitting in favor of a good sit.
What got you to start running? And when was this?
I’m someone who, when I’ve made up my mind to do something, I get it done. But running was my Eleanor*… I tried to run several times over a period of years and failed miserably. In my very first post, I explain how challenging it was for me to start running. After numerous fails, finally, one day I decided I’d had enough and that I was going to become a runner no matter what. I was 27 when that finally happened.
*Eleanor is the name of the 1967Ford Mustang fastback (or the 1971Mustang Sportsroof, if you’re of a certain age and prefer the 1974 film) from Gone In 60 Seconds. She’s the only car that Randall “Memphis” Raines fails to steal, even though he’s the best car thief in the world. I like cars.
Why do you run? Do you run for pleasure? For meeting goals? Something else?
When I started to run, it was to prove to myself that I could do it. Then, for a time, I ran to beat everyone else (spoiler alert: I failed). Now, I run because I can’t imagine life walking. I run for my lungs. I run for my heart. I run for my brain. I run because I get to watch the sunrise while everyone else is in bed. But, mostly, I run because I love ice cream and nachos, but refuse to diet.
What do you feel is your greatest challenge in running?
The lion in my blog is me in more ways than one (and it’s kind of funny, because I’ve never been a fan of carnivores). I’m hungry, literally and metaphorically. Great as that can be, it can sometimes be a bad thing. I’ve been known to race people twice my size and half my age. Sometimes I run too far, and sometimes I run too fast. So, I’d have to say, my greatest challenge is remembering, and coming to terms with, my limits. Sometimes, you’ve gotta let that gazelle go and eat a banana instead. I hate bananas.
In your Feb 6, 2015, you wrote about how running changed you because you prefer wearing runners over heels and traded trendy outfits for lycra. Has running changed you in other ways?
On rest days, I’ll still break out the heels (that is, if my feet aren’t too beaten up or too swollen), blow dry my hair and put on a dress. But who I am is no longer about how I look. It’s about what I do. That was a mental shift that made me, frankly, a happier person. Running boosted my confidence, and made me healthier. It also humbled me – while acknowledging my limits is challenging, running, in a way, taught me to know when it’s time to ask for help, and to admire other people’s successes.
Why do you blog?
When I was a new runner, one thing I noticed about the running community was that we speak freely about our successes, but we like to hide our failures. And while I’ll always celebrate successes, it can be hard as a new runner who’s struggling to finish a 5k to hear or read about someone’s marathon PR. So, in the spirit of celebrating the failures that get us to the finish line, See Fleck Run was born.
Why did you decide that you would add those great stick figure drawings into your posts?
I want people to see themselves in my stories, and I knew that if I used real-life photos, they’d only see me. I also have a very real fear of Internet copyright laws. So cartoons were the natural solution.
Any words (of advice, wisdom, inspiration, humor or anything else) for my readers?
Running hurts. It makes you stink. It will destroy your feet, and (possibly) give you tendonitis. But running will teach you discipline. It will boost your confidence. It will make you healthier, and maybe even happier. So, my advice to your readers is, put away your heels and lace up your runners. You won’t regret it.*
*Okay, you might regret it. But at least you’ll be able to say you tried.
The artwork was lovingly stolen (with permission) from See Fleck Run.
To my readers, have you guys ever binge-blogged? I mean, except for my blog, I know you guys binge-blogged my blog. 😉