When Forcing Yourself to Feel Like You Don’t Belong Works: Running and life goals achieved by feeling like a ‘poser’

In life, and in running, there will be times when you feel like you’re in over your head. Or that you are afraid the people around you will certainly sniff you out as the ‘poser’ you feel you are…that you really don’t belong, that you don’t have enough experience, credits to your name, accolades, etc. You can choose to dodge these types of situations, but if you do I’m willing to bet you’ll miss out on achieving something greater than you expected.

runner by tree

Run curious of what you CAN achieve when you force yourself to be in situations where you feel like a ‘poser’…then fake it til you make it. :)

In running, a sure-fire way to get better is to train with people who are better than you. Sure, you can have the ego boost of being the top dog and pace-setter for a particular group, but where is the fun in that? I always loved being the chaser, myself; that makes you hungry for more, for faster times…it’s the thrill of the hunt, right?

Being at the slower end of the company you keep, dare I even say the slowest, can surely be daunting though. If you’re new to the group your knees are probably quaking before the warm-up, anticipating that these fleeter footed runners were certainly sniff out the poser of the group. Maybe they even know your PR’s and in your mind you imagine what they are thinking, “Who in the heck do they think they are…they don’t belong with us…they aren’t good enough to even share the track with us.”

The honest truth is that humans can be pretty self-centered without meaning to or even be aware they are thinking that the world is revolving around them. They can be the most benevolent of people but there are times when we over-amplify the importance of ourselves. What I’m getting at is as you IMAGINE those others are thinking about you, they are probably actually thinking of themselves. those other runners most likely are thinking about the workout ahead and the splits they want to hit…not your presence.

But then again, worse case, even if they are thinking you ‘don’t belong’ then who really cares? If you want the BEST from yourself, toss yourself into the deep end on PURPOSE. You can run the risk of sinking but more often than not, when forced you’ll at least learn to doggie-paddle. That doggie paddle will most likely turn to some semblance of a stroke and eventually you will swim.

team runners

Truth is, runners tend to be awesome company and will welcome you onto their team. :)

With running, when you train smart, push yourself, are consistent, and ask more from yourself you generally improve. You may end up surprising yourself in actually becoming the fastest runner of the very group you once felt you were an idiot for thinking you even belonged sharing the same track with.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, yes, but goals that demand the kind of work that offer a fulfilling reward aren’t achieved by feeling comfortable. So fellow kiddies, let’s dive into the deep end of the track and get swimming. ;) [Extra credit to those who made sense of this totally mixed metaphor...haha!]

1) What is an instance where you felt like a ‘poser’ when it came to running?
The first day I went to my high school’s track practice…if you were keeping tabs on my Facebook Page I explained it was my dad who helped me get out there and just run.

2) When was an instance where you felt like a ‘poser’ in other life?
Actually, anytime people say, “Oh, you’re an artist!” It’s taken a lot of mental conditioning to not blurt out, “Well, actually, ummm, I dunno, I like doing art, but I’m not sure if I’m an ‘artist’ artist.” :P

3) If you run in a group, where are you typically: front, middle, chaser? If you run alone, how do you ‘stretch’ yourself to run with ‘someone faster than you’? If you don’t try and run with someone better than you for the sake of ‘chasing’ that’s cool too, but do you want to try and state a goal of attempting that stretch??
I’m a bit of a solo runner for the current, but I use the treadmill and force my slow butt not to fall off the back for some tempo runs. ;) Good old tready has enough power to certainly run the belt faster than me!

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12 thoughts on “When Forcing Yourself to Feel Like You Don’t Belong Works: Running and life goals achieved by feeling like a ‘poser’

  1. I definitely struggle with jumping into the deep end. I’m generally worried I’ll drown, rather than stay afloat with doggy paddle :P But you’re right, it is necessary to leave your comfort zone in order to move forward with things. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Running a race at the front because of my time. I feel like a SERIOUS poser. I don’t normally start at the front.
    And you are definitly an ‘artist’ artist. I feel like a poser when I swim, like I’m good at 2 strokes and not so good at the other 2 but people say I’m a good swimmer and I’m like….why?
    I run on my own most of th etime but I do a group run 1x a week so that I can run with people better than me. :)

  3. I was so afraid to apply for the Nuun Hood to Coast teams because I thought everyone would be like, “um, you’re not a serious runner. Why did you apply?” but I’m so glad I did! Anytime I run with someone faster I’m nervous, but it definitely keeps me on my toes!

    • PERFECT example!!! oh man, and ur video for that team was seriously epicly funny! AND well, u are just awesome so they woulda been cray-cray to NOT pick u. :)

  4. I was really scared when I ran my half marathon, I just didn’t think I was a half marathoner and felt out of place (I didn’t even really look like a runner- I wore an old sweater so I could take it off during the race and saw everyone else wearing tech gear!). But, I still did a pretty good job and enjoyed it, and I ran the same distance as everyone else anyway!

    Runners are such an awesome community… even the fast people love helping new runners and the people who are really fast will cheer for those people who aren’t as fast and encourage them, I don’t think anyone looks down on anyone. My favorite thing to tell new runners in running clubs is that we admire your *presence* more than your *pace* :).

  5. This whole notion of “jumping into the deep end” is something I’ve embraced more in the past year. I pick two days a week where I run with people who are faster than me, and I am always extremely nervous leading up to those runs – I worry that I’ll be seen as not good enough and that I actually WON’T be good enough. But, more often than not, I surprise myself and feel much more accomplished when I finish.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who worries about this! Also, you’re extremely right that it applies to life just as much as it does to running.

    • the funny thing about worries, is that i’ve found for the most part TONS of other people are thinking the exact same things as we are!! lol. so strength in numbers…jk. but i think actually just hearing others are going thru the same mental ‘battles’ as u helps u feel better AND give u more confidence to go for it. and awesome for going on those group runs…keep it up girl and i KNOW u’ll keep on ‘surprising’ urself. :)

  6. You are an awesome artist so I hope you say yep I sure am!!!!! , When people ask. I actually run alone most of the time but I have been using my new found blog friends to push me harder. Some of these people are crazy fast!!! I just try to push myself close to what I have read about. And I loved your comment about the Guinness book of records! Keep reaching for those records.

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