Rule numero uno of the code of the Sole Sisterhood is: What’s said on the run stays on the run.
Or so I thought…
After many discussions with my husband, Troy, he said point blank: women’s running cliques are just modern day sewing circles; you gossip more than you run. When he said this, at first I laughed it off and chalked it up; he didn’t get it, he wasn’t on the run with us, he didn’t really understand.
Then I noticed on my runs people saying things to me and asking questions about things I hadn’t told them. Some of these were very personal things I had mentioned to someone else while running. Troy’s words started ringing in my ears and I didn’t find it so funny anymore. It hurt.
I’m going to call myself out on this post so let me make that clear right away. I admit that I played into the gossipping.
However, there’s a lesson to learn and it was hard and hurtful for me to learn. Once I realized Troy’s words were true, and that it was gossipping, I tried to make a change. You can only change yourself though. You can’t change the actions of others. Sometimes if others choose to continue a behavior you’re not comfortable with the best thing for you to do is to step away, and I have after the issues got worse and I got hurt a bit more.
I’m not going to go into details about the tipping point incident for me here on the blog because that would defeat the purpose of this post. What I will tell you is this…be careful with what you say while on the run. Just because something is said on the run and is repeated by another person during a different run doesn’t make it right. When that happens you take a piece of someone – and think of it this way, would your Sole Sister truly want to hear those words about herself if she was present at that run? Is that really being a Sole Sister in the first place? No, it’s violating rule numero uno of the Sole Sisterhood.
Rule numero dos is defined above. It has multiple parts though. They all go hand in hand so let’s break it down real quick.
Part a) listen – that means that you give all involved in the run an opportunity to talk. You shouldn’t always be the one talking (this is coming from a talker – I know I’m a talker – I’ll admit it can be a fault of mine at times and is something I’ve been working on, to actively listen to others as well).
Part b) doesn’t judge – DOES. NOT. JUDGE. If a Sole Sister shares her goals with you, those are HER goals. You can give constructive feedback but ultimately it is HER decision and HER life – not yours! Sometimes you won’t agree with each other and that is fine. Sometimes your goals won’t be aligned with each other and that’s fine. That’s the beauty of it, we are all different, running unites us. Do. Not. Judge – there is no room for any form of pace shaming in the Sole Sisterhood.
Part c) makes running fun – FUN!!! Don’t constantly be dumping (I use dumping instead of venting because you all know what I’m talking about and know the difference) on your Sole Sisters. Celebrate. Celebrate your accomplishments. Don’t dwell on things of the past that may have gone wrong in a race. Celebrate. Have fun!!! When a Sole Sister is down in the dumps allow her to vent but don’t make the entire run a bitch session ) gossip run…HAVE FUN!
That’s all folks, the code of the Sole Sisters is very short and easy. Please make sure you’re adhering to it. When the code is broken you really are just another gossip / mean girl circle. Oh and talking about the mean girls is being a mean girl yourself by the way. Again disclaimer, I’ve broken the code – I ask my Sole Sisters to forgive me for having done so and pledge to do my best to be a better person than I was yesterday. We cannot dwell in the past, races aren’t run in reverse, we must keep moving forward.