April 4, 2012

I Write Because....I Can! #HAWMC Day 4 @wegohealth

Daily prompt. I write about (my) health because… As writers, we all have unique styles, motivations and stories to tell. But hidden behind those is the question of “why?” Why do you write about health? Take some time today to reflect on why you write about (your) health. Reaffirm your mission and celebrate your successes as a health writer.

I have loved reading and writing since my days as a young child. I started a teen novel as a junior high schooler with the intent of submitting it to a magazine that was holding a contest. The best novel would be published! I wrote at least 2 or 3 chapters. I remember sharing it with a few friends, but not any family members that I can recall. My fear of rejection and lack of self-confidence stopped me from finishing and submitting it. Boy do I wish I could read it today! Keeping a diary wasn't appealing to me, but reading others' stories and writing creatively on my own was a constant in my life through high school. Then college hit. My free writing time became homework and research paper writing time. Personal reading time went from fiction and fantasy novels to social, life and physical science books. 

My brother-in-law actually turned me onto the blogging world a couple of years after I started running. I was so interested in "expert" opinions on races, gear, nutrition, etc that I forgot about "the people". Once I started delving into blogs, I instantly recognized that these reports and posts were no different than the "expert" resources I was seeking through well-known, popular magazines and websites. In fact, most were better! Full race reports of races I'd considered registering for. Shoe reviews - some resulting in shoe purchases that I never thought I'd try. New healthy recipes. New on-the-course fueling options. Struggles with work, life and training balances. New workout types, drills, training schedules/theories. I was seeking information, and unexpectedly saw myself in some of these posts along the way.

The more I read, the more I thought "Hey I have information I could be sharing with others. I can do this too!". I resisted the urge to make what I consider to be a big commitment. At first, the thought of being so public with my experiences and opinions wouldn't really be of interest to anyone but me. "What if...... no reads it; no one agrees with me; nobody values my opinion, etc". I decided not to let these fears of what other's would think of me stop me from starting up my own blog. I wanted to write for ME if nothing else. These are my stories. If others find them interesting, AWESOME! At the very least, I'd have a place and reason to start writing again.

After my first half marathon, years before I knew blogging existed, I sat down and typed out every detail I could remember from the race - from the Expo to the Finish line. I had an undeniable urge to capture all the sights, sounds and emotions I felt out on that course. I cried for most of the writing session. It was SO incredibly emotional. I shared it with several friends and family members; many of whom admitted it was an emotional (and tearful) read for them as well - and I think it may have been the starting block (gentle kick?) for those same family and friends who are now runners. :-)  "My First Half Marathon" race recap was the first blog I posted when I launched Love, Live, Run in July 2010.  To do this day, I still receive emails from my readers who tell me they too were in tears by the end. And yes, reading it today still makes me cry too.

My motivation for writing today is a little different, but much is the same. I didn't expect to write product reviews when I bought a new piece of equipment, read a book I like, bought a new pair of running shoes - but I put my opinion out there for all to see. I still write to share ideas, experiences, have public venting sessions - all in hopes my readers learn something new, either about themselves, a product, a race, changes in lifestyle (read about my transformation to becoming a vegetarian).... anything educational. 

In short, I write about my health and my health focus because...
.... I want to inspire people to live healthy, active lives
.... I hope sharing my experiences will help others make decisions that are right for them
.... I'm so verbose, I can't believe anyone follows me in a verbal conversation at times
.... this is my sounding board; a way to fully think through and develop my thoughts into cohesive statements with clear messages
.... I like a visual history of my health status as it is ever-evolving
.... I CAN! :-)

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