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Posts Tagged ‘selfies’

Before I became a runner, I would have told you I was not a selfie person. My Instagram feed was mostly photos of flowers and sunsets, with an occasional book or cup of tea. (Some things have not changed entirely; all those joys still make regular appearances.) But I surprised myself by starting to snap – and even post – running selfies on the regular.

I have a love-hate relationship with social media: I enjoy sharing bits of beauty or great books or other people’s interesting posts, and seeing what others share, too. But I’m all too aware of the corollary that we often edit out the messy bits, to show only the highlights. And while I’m definitely not going to air my dirty laundry in public, I’m always wondering how honest/unfiltered to be online.

trail morning selfie sea water

While most of my running selfies involve me smiling, they are still a way to push back against the “highlight reel” a bit. For one thing: I’m always sweating, my hair is usually blowing around and I’m often not wearing any makeup. This is me, in the literal middle of a workout, and sometimes it’s glorious and I feel strong and confident. But sometimes my feet hurt or it’s cold or I just don’t want to run three miles in the morning (or evening). Sometimes I’m upset or frustrated, lonely or sad. Sometimes I am just not feeling it, for whatever reason.

On those days, I sometimes skip the selfies altogether, but sometimes I go ahead and take them. Snapping a selfie can be a small reset, a bit of a grounding ritual: I am here. In this moment, on this path, with this water or these trees or buildings in the background. I am here, sweat and crow’s-feet and whirling thoughts and all.

Katie trail blue gray water

In three years of running, I have not magically become a marathoner or a record-setter or a runner who runs with total ease. But I am a runner because I run, and my selfies are tangible proof: me, running, or at least pausing in the middle of a run.

Here I am without makeup, in workout clothes, not even close to perfectly coiffed. Here I am in an ordinary moment, which is worth celebrating as much as any day I get all dolled up. Here I am doing something I love, which brings me joy and strength and peace on the best days, and at least lets me work up a sweat and get out of my head for a while. Here I am, running, and sharing at least a slice of that joy with the world.

If you run, or work out, do you post selfies? (Or is this a totally frivolous topic? Even if it is, I think it’s worth exploring.)

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selfie stripes library Boston

I don’t take many selfies unless I’m running, but I snapped this one during a mid-morning break at the library. They make the best chai in the neighborhood, and the baristas are so nice.

It’s very me: striped dress (a recent clothing-swap find), my favorite necklace (just out of frame), sunglasses on my head, a few wayward silver strands peeking through the brown and red. Long lashes, pink cheeks, tired eyes, a half smile. Just another weekday morning – and I love that this project calls us to pay attention.

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