Every week, my Instagram feed is full of images for Transformation Tuesday, a trend where people use social networks to share photos and stories of personal transformations. In the fitness community, these are often weight loss photos of people showing how they’ve transformed through running or exercise. On the left is the standard “before” photo, and the right: the new version of themselves. Many of the posts are inspiring and brave. I like seeing them and I read their stories with interest. But sometimes, it makes me wonder about myself. If I haven’t transformed through running, does anyone care?
I mean, what’s my headline?
Skinny Girl…Still Skinny!
Woman Completes Second Marathon: Body the Same as When She Was Sedentary.
I suppose you could argue I’m lucky. I’ve never had to battle with anything too serious and I started running because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to. (er… actually for free shoes, but that’s another story.)
But at the same time, I wonder why anyone would care about this narrative. Am I boring? Next to these beautiful stories of people who have come back from chronic illnesses, eating disorders, obesity or mental illness, what kind of story do I have to offer?
I suppose it’s because the transformations that I have experienced through running and exercise are not visible. Through running, some of my transformations have been things like a massive increase in confidence and self-belief. Things I once thought were impossible now seem within reach, and that goes beyond the world of fitness. My perspective of “fun” has transformed. I’ve changed from the last one at the party to the one who goes home early so I can enjoy 10 miles in the morning. I’ve gone from relishing laziness to someone who loves hard work and hard-earned accomplishment.
Yes, running has indeed changed me, but the difficult thing is that my transformations are hard to capture in an Instagram post.