Once Again a Fraud – The Run Run Live Interview

Written by Ann Brennan

All In this TogetherA few weeks ago, Chris Russell interviewed me for his Run Run Live podcast. As the two of us have spoken on-air a half dozen times, we did not prepare for the show. Instead, we decided to have an organically flowing conversation. In the past year Chris and I have both gone through major life crises. He lost his father to cancer in April and I have been struggling with my daughter’s depression and all that comes with it. Inevitably, the conversation turned to the effects these crises have had on our training and ultimately, we both shared how easy it is to feel like a fraud when your life is seemingly so public.

Sure, my readers know I am a mom and that my children come first always but you also know me as a marathoner and an Ironman, as someone who keeps putting one foot in front of the other and perseveres. But the truth is that for the past few months my biggest fear has been that I would run into a reader on the streets and they would see just how out of shape I am.

I have always struggled with weight but truthfully, after months and months of stress, I put my workouts on the back burner and it is truly showing these days. Even as I write this I cringe because it is not my first time coming here and telling you that I am going to get started again, that I am going to start eating right and making exercise a priority again.

But then I have to force myself to stop and think about what I would tell one of my readers if they were in the same boat. I have two choices, I can start from where I am and get healthier or I can wait, put it off, and start from a worse position. Will another crisis appear and knock me off track again? Maybe. But all I can worry about today is today. All I can do is focus on this workout, this day’s nutrition. What happens tomorrow is tomorrow’s worry.

After going back and listening to my conversation with Chris, I am once again reminded of what a small world this is and how much all of us can relate to one another. I do feel like a fraud for being a fitness writer and being overweight but I know that many people who are not fitness writers feel the same way. People who have run marathons or Ironman triathlons in the past who have fallen off the fitness wagon and are struggling with their self worth. In the end, most of us do not judge anybody as hard as we judge ourselves. In the end, we are all in this together.

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About Ann Brennan

Ann Brennan is first and foremost a mom of three beautiful children. She is the managing editor of Beyond Limits Magazine and the creator of Ann’s Running Commentary. In 2012, Ann took Ann’s Running Commentary to new levels – first with a segment on the RunRunLive Podcast, chronicling her journey to her first Ironman and second, with a new channel on YouTube. Currently Ann is working on a non-fiction book series and working hard every day to remind people to get up, get active and get out there.
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7 Responses to Once Again a Fraud – The Run Run Live Interview

  1. Katie Bacon says:

    The pain in your words brings tears to my eyes. I know that my working out consistently goes in waves but I know that my Annapolis triathlon community will always be there to welcome me back the same as last time I needed to take some time off. We will be there no matter when you are ready to come back and however many times you need to start over!

  2. Ann, I started following you a couple of years ago and it wasn’t because of your fitness level. Sure, I am in total awe that you are a mom and an Iron Woman and I find that inspiring. But those two things are just indications of the kind of person you are, someone who is real, sometimes fails, and gets back up again. Even if it takes awhile. It’s your inner strength and perserverance that people see, not (just) the marathoner.

  3. Ann Brennan says:

    Michele, I cried when I read your comment. Thank you so much.

  4. Ann Brennan says:

    Thanks Katie. I have avoiding the local triathletes as much as possible but that stops now. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Glen Snider says:

    I’m in the same boat as you and Chris. I’ve run a dozen or so marathons. I won my age group in a 50K ultra marathon. I’ve done those crazy P90X and Insanity workouts.

    But last year (May 8, 2013), we lost our 25 year old son. Took all the wind out of my sails. I won’t say I have not done anything since then, but no “plan”. No training schedule. I’ll do something once in a while, but not like I used to.

    My weight is up – I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I go for walks instead of runs. I think and pray more instead of listen to podcasts and music. Funny to be reading your post this morning because was just thinking about this topic last night when I went out for walk. Time to start something. Time to put an event on the calendar. Time to start moving again. Maybe…

    I run the local Bolder Boulder 10K like Chris runs the Boston Marathon – every year. For the first time since I can’t remember, I did not run it this year. I appreciated Chris’ comments about running Boston – maybe it’s time to let it go. Move on to something else. Who knows.

    Life throws us curve balls. Losing our son has really made me re-evaluate why I do what I do.
    Glen Snider recently posted…PiYOMy Profile

  6. Do NOT call yourself a fraud – you are not. You are incredibly genuine and strong and an awesome mom and spouse and person in general. You ARE an Ironman and marathoner and a tremendously strong person.

    Strength and value are NOT measured by a scale or a pant size or fit, and as others have said we are not here to track your PRs, your splits or race schedule … we’re here for YOU , and your unique and valuable voice.

    Last week I had a two-part guest post on another blog – and it was on the same subject as I did here: weight loss. It was my full ‘journey’, and the feedback was tremendous. I lost weight – but the biggest impact was how I found myself in 2012, 23 years after losing nearly 200 lbs, once again 100 lbs overweight and no longer running. It was that journey back that is what interested people.

    You already have a tremendous story – and this year (and last) has put plenty of stuff in your way. You are not a fraud … you are amazing to continue to do and handle so much.
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Wednesday Wandering Mind, “I Run …”, Stopping the Streak, and My ’8 Fears’My Profile

  7. We definitely are all in this together!!! Thank you as always for your candor.
    Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) recently posted…Helping Javier Stay On Track With SponsorshipMy Profile

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