would get erased immediately.
Instead, they wanted to know about my day-to-day life ’ this time around, about the ups and downs of my own running career. So I ended up creating a new Instagram account, and made another blog post, one that was also about what happened to my marriage:
Sure enough… the comments piled up. I realized something: it was my inability to “market myself” that exasperated, infuriated, and confronted the porn and running communities. The “perfectly good run” was out of reach for many of them—and the whole “don’t let the internet get you down like that, talk to the people who love you” mantra also wasn’t working with me anymore.
The problem was that I had a hard time selling myself. I was too anxious and uncomfortable to interact with anyone.
“Who are YOU?” they would ask me. I would nervously answer with something vague and half-assed (so I’d get tagged in the comments section and get removed from the list of people to be found by).
“You must be a 50-year-old lifelong athlete who resents Social Media!”
“Sorry they like you! Don’t be like that!”
At this point, I realized there was no going back. I had paid too much in dues and invested too much energy into this cult, and it wasn’t worth it. I had to change—I needed to make a multitude of changes:
I had to initiate sex with my online boyfriends. Didn’t matter if it wasn’t what I wanted or if they weren’t attracted to me anymore. Didn’t matter if we eloped. I needed to engage in public sex with someone who actually wanted to have sex; there was nothing taboo or awkward about this. I needed to be able to initiate sex with strangers. If I wasn’t able to, no amount of picking up on subtext or lack of attraction could save me from going back to the old me. I needed to ask for what I want and then take it IRL. I need to reintroduce myself to my friends who stripped from the fitness and bodybuilding genres. I need to enjoy a ritual of getting back to my place, and make sure I know people spaces while doing this. I need to take my routines seriously. I need to develop sexual skills during sexual fitness and bodybuilding workouts. I need to build muscle, lose fat, and get my pelvic bone density up. I need to build some muscle, lose fat, and get my pelvic bone density up because that’s how I’m putting myself on the path to longevity and productivity. I need to raise the bar of my upper body strength training and physique programming to yet higher level. I need to re-assess my goals. How bloated can my goal setting be before my mind starts to register the scale above me? I need to develop the immense mental discipline needed to stick with specific and productive goals; how many times will it take until I have actively disabled the members-only site while climbing the Rocky Mountain quest wall without failed attempts? How can I use what recovery and stress management techniques will accrue up until and after a new bulk? How can I control how the Dominant feet communities react to my insanely experimental workouts that will defy nature?
They are right, you know? This life, for me, is all about balancing happiness and mortality, because I refuse to live without lucid purpose. I refuse to become a middle-aged woman with absolutely no reason to offer a solution to anything, because I don’t want that to be me. If the endless list of excuses were self-evident—I’m always sleepy; I’m tired; I don’t exercise; I’m too self-conscious about my appearance; I don’t know anyone who can help; I’m too rude; my blog has too many readers; my new bikini is too small—I wouldn’t question my life any longer. I wouldn’t bother sharing ideas with people who have nothing to offer, because I have no reason to believe, in spite of everything, that I might actually be able to do something positive with my life.
People created this crazy world where I lived as an ill-fated, emotionally self-destroying part of it. I think many of those people just want to know “that’s it? That’s the only answer?” I can see why. I can understand why. I’m certainly guilty of it myself.
But you know what? I’m tired of being just another victim or getaway driver. And here’s the thing. Most of us view life as just another PR problem or “sport problem” (like helping your burgeoning female recruitment programs out: town halls, issue briefs, conference calls, online communities). We all work hard at it;