On my blog voice and #BeingIn2013.

by Melissa on January 7, 2013

Something that I fear, and have always feared, is that my words, spoken or written, are misinterpreted. Case in point:

being a slow runner

When I read the quote on this inspiring image, I immediately thought, “AMEN!” and posted it on my blog’s Facebook page. As soon as I posted it, though, I thought, “Shoot! Will it offend anyone who cannot (yet) run a mile without stopping? That’s not what I want to portray here.” I think it’s safe to say that I have a love-hate relationship with the way in which I use my voice.

I find that I’m not the type of person who will advise someone to continue doing something that will bring him or her harm; however, I’ve had to learn to sit back and wait for others to come to me for advice before giving it. It’s incredibly difficult to know when to speak and when to wait. It’s also a very wonderful virtue to possess. There are days when I’m snooping around on a social media platform and see a well-known health and fitness magazine post a photo that portrays a greatly manipulated twist on something that could easily cause a reader harm. And it takes everything I have not to start a fight. (Because, let’s face it, even the most polite rebuttals can start an unwelcome argument these days.)

So when I posted that photo, I commented below it, elaborating a little more on what I really thought, because I hate being misunderstood and what that can do to someone else’s feelings. This blog has been around for three years, and while I hope it has a big future ahead of it, popularity hasn’t been my main priority – but my readers have been. I didn’t start blogging for publicity. I started blogging for me and for others who felt alone in their journeys. I was never in a rush to reach any certain status, and I still don’t push it. I refuse to lose my “voice”. I want my readers to find real life here. I’m not in this for the glitz and glamour and superficial benefits. I want my readers to understand that success has an ebb and flow – that people make mistakes and none of us are perfect. I want my readers to know that you don’t have to don an expensive pair of booty shorts and a revealing (and rather impractical) sports bra with a fabulous necklace and gobs of makeup and indestructible hair to be considered a successful personal trainer, to be beautiful, or to be the perfect representation of “health” or “fitness”. I want my readers to know that you don’t have to have an expansive collection of nutritional supplements to get the body you want. Good health isn’t expensive!!!  I want my readers to know that real health and fitness comes from within and can be found in anyone who wants it. Anyone can be #fitfluential. I didn’t lose as much weight as I have with a coach by my side – and I certainly make mistakes and I certainly still have work to do. I’ve done it myself…with willpower, multiple setbacks, large and small, and the desire to educate myself. I want my readers to know that weight loss is tough and that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

No Shortcuts to goals

This year, I’m going to continue to be open about issues about which I find myself passionate. I’m going to unapologetically change my mind, make mistakes, and tell you how I really feel. I will embrace my slowness, remembering that I, like everyone else on this planet, started somewhere. My goals are different from others’, as is my body. (And you should remember that, too!) This year will be a year of courage…the courage to be what I stand for without fearing what others think. This year will be about discovery, pushing my limits, and just #beingin2013.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica { EricaDHouse.com } January 7, 2013 at 6:49 am

Sigh. I’ve been there! As much as you try to ‘cover your bases’ and make sure everything you say is kosher – I think as a blogger your bound to cause an uproar every now and again. At least it sounds that the damage is fairly minimal! Your readers love you and know you would never try to offend anyone :)

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 7:24 am

I was sort of all over the place with this post now that I read it again. (I wrote it Saturday night.) The thing is, I never want this blog to promote what I don’t stand for as a person…just for the sake of growth or readership or status. I try to remind myself of the first steps I took to become a runner or to lose weight and I never want to forget them…because someone else is always back there. (And heck…some days I find myself back there, too.) I didn’t cause any damage with the photo (at least that I’m aware), but I try to explain myself before I do – know what I mean? I just want this blog to be a voice…and an inspiring one at that. :)

Reply

ilene January 7, 2013 at 7:24 am

I love you and how outspoken you are. I love that you will unapologetically change your mind about things Let’s hear it for pushing limits and following our passions.

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 7:29 am

Thanks, Ilene! And I love you, too! I’m so glad I caught (this morning) that you posted yesterday! I’ve missed reading your blog!! I’ll definitely be pushing limits, going for passion, and standing by who I am this year. ;)

Reply

Mindy @ Road Runner Girl January 7, 2013 at 8:38 am

So inspiring as always Melissa! I love that you are outspoken and speak your mind! Because what you have to say is important! We all know you would never say anything to offend anyone! I LOVE that first quote!!! :-)

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

Thanks, girl!

Reply

lindsay January 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

your voice is what brings me back, because it is YOU and it is HONEST! we need that. We need to approach life and reality with slowness, learning along the way, yes?

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Absolutely. :) I’m never going to be picture-pefect and I’m never going to be a Kenyan. Haha. But I will always be me.

Reply

Heather @ Better With Veggies January 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I think it’s impossible to take a stand or have an opinion and not offend *someone*! :) As long as you’re honest, admit when you make a mistake, and are open to listen, I think that’s okay!

And on the slowness thing… almost everyone is “slow” compared to someone else. And often “fast” compared to yet another person. :)

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Isn’t that the truth!? It’s amazing how many people I can offend just by being a stay-at-home mom, let alone with the words I write. But the saying does go, “You’ve got enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something!” :)

Reply

jobo January 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

You are one of the most honest, real and in a very good way – heartfelt, sensitive people I know. I think those qualities and that sense of transparency and also self-awareness is HUGE and such a great combination for a writer, and a trainer, and an all around beautiful soul – YOU! XO!

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

You’re such a fantastic friend, Jo. <3 You really know how to make a girl smile! I try so hard to be transparent (it can backfire), but the sensitivity is key. I watch so many people start from scratch, succeed, and then turn so…righteous…forgetting about how it used to be, and I never want to become that. Taking the time to sit back and think about my blog voice helps, because I want every reader to know who I am and what they can expect. :)

Reply

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I think being “you” is the hardest part of having a personal blog. It seems like it doesn’t take much to offend some people. Walking on egg shells isn’t fun. Everything that I’ve ever read on your blog has seemed 100% genuine and sincere. Keep being you! It works!

Reply

Melissa January 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Thank you. So much. :) It isn’t fun walking on eggshells, and I try not to, but you’re right…it doesn’t take much sometimes!

Reply

Jess January 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I LOVE your voice, your honesty, your real-ness, your passion, your warm heart. All of these things make up your voice and I am so glad you are sticking around as your usual glowing, gorgeous and kind self :)

Reply

Melissa January 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Thanks, friend. <3 Love you!

Reply

Pavement Runner January 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

You can’t please everyone and someone will always be offended. Just keep your intentions positive and most of the time you’ll get the benefit of doubt.

Speed is relative. I don’t consider myself “fast,” but to others I may be. I don’t consider myself “slow,” but to many runner’s have a faster pace. Look at it this way: in comparison to Olympic athletes, we are ALL slow. I also walk during runs. Yep. I’m a run/walker. Most of the time I run a mile, then walk 30 seconds to a minute. When training, I may run 2-3 miles without stopping, but my pace ends up being the same. Either way, it’s gonna take me X to run a mile on average.

Reply

Melissa January 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I never knew you trained like that! I’ve actually heard that it’s smarter to run that way…run the mile, walk for a set (short) amount of time, and then run again. I always used to chalk my run/walk strategy up to just not being a well-seasoned runner. Haha…the things you learn as you go along, hmm? :)

Reply

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf January 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm

First off, I’m totally embarrassed because I’ve had this post open in my browser since you posted it and I’m only reading it now. Oy! Second, I love this post. I love that you are true to your voice because you have a really special voice and that’s why people come back. That’s why I come back because you’re honest. Here’s to just #beingin2013

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: