Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jogging n' blogging

Two coworkers were discussing my passion for writing, and one of them, surprised upon hearing the news that I like to write, asked, "Oh, so you're a blogger?" In a nanosecond, I could feel all the righteous indignation stemming from my years of training in track and cross country return, rising up and burning my throat, much like a greasy hamburger does to me about an hour after consumption. I do love a good hamburger, but hamburgers do not always love me. Sadness. Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, that statement about blogging, it was so casual and dismissive, or so it felt, like I wasn't serious about writing or something. It drew a similar reaction as to the old, "So, you like to jog, huh?" I'd square my shoulders and look them dead in the eyes, "Only when I'm warming up or cooling down." No, I'm a runner. There's a difference. Geez, people, figure it out.

Joggers wear trendy little warm up suits from the activewear section at Nordies. Joggers own shoes that don't look like they've seen a day outside in the rain. Joggers frequent the gym on treadmills while reading the latest from Oprah's book club. Joggers exercise in pairs or groups for the sole purpose of socializing. And there's nothing wrong with these points, not a thing. Except, I'm not a jogger. Runners are out on the streets, on the trails, on the track, rain or shine, wind and hail. Runners prefer hills to the "incline" setting on treadmills. Runners may enjoy exercising with a partner, but really honestly, only one who doesn't slow them down. Runners don't mind getting wet and dirty. Runners like going fast, dagnabit - and here I'm beginning to huff ever so slightly.

Ok, I'll admit I sound a little, well, snobbish. So maybe I am. But that's how I feel about blogging, too. Everything in me wants to insist, "I'm not a blogger; I'm a writer!" Why? My brilliant response is, "yeah, I dunno." There are some really excellent blogs out there, by really stellar writers. Way better than me. And I'm sure not sitting around in my pajamas all day working on a book, hoping to submit something for publication, and fellowshipping in the sufferings of C.S. Lewis or Jane Austen or Anne Lamott. So what's the big indignation toward being called a blogger?

I pause, think deeply... yeah, I dunno. But maybe it's partly because I don't write to be trendy. I'm not trying to gather a following (obviously, unless you can call eight people a following). I don't need an online journal to record my daily innermost thoughts and experiences. And in five years, when blogging is possibly passe, I'll still be writing.

And yet, there's also a part of me that hopes beyond hope that I'm the real deal, and not just a blogger, though I have little to show for it yet. Well, besides my collection of academic papers, spanning over a decade of school. And about twenty-something journals I've filled since I was a teenager. And the stories and letters I composed as a child. It's like something deep within my DNA shouts up to my brain, "You're more than a blogger, you silly girl!" But I don't quite believe it, not yet.

So if you ever read in my blog about the social exploits of some jogging club I've started, I'm doubly in trouble. A double hypocrite. Let's hope it never gets to that.

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