Instagram has gotten a lot of crap lately for creating an idealized version of life with all the hard parts edited out. Of course it does exactly that, but that means it also makes the improbable seem attainable.
Take running, for example. For the past month or so, my Insta feed has been post after post of runners training for the Boston Marathon. Ordinary, every-day sort of runners. The kind who aren’t professional, who have families and day jobs, and don’t live anywhere near Boston. It seems improbable that a thirty-something mother of three would spend dozens of hours every week away from their loved ones, focusing on a self-centered goal, and paying for the entry fee, the plane ticket, the hotel room, the running gear. But according to Instagram, there are hundreds of such people, making the improbable seem attainable.
That sounds like I disapprove of what they’re doing, but I don’t. If anything, I fear that they will convince me to join them. And I don’t want to run 26 miles. I really don’t.
It’s hard not to get swept up in big goals when I see them everywhere. But I think for running, that’s not where I want to be. That’s not to say I don’t have a new goal now that the Cherry Blossom race is done, because I do.
Here it is: I want to run an easy 10 miles.
That, to me, seems improbable. It certainly wasn’t easy when I did it two weeks ago. But according to Instagram, an easy 10 miles is totally attainable. I see it in statuses daily, usually accompanied by a sweaty, happy selfie.
So that’s my goal. I want to build my running base so that 10 miles isn’t a race, it’s my long run twice a month.
I’ll make sure to Instagram it for you. Because if I can do it, then just about anyone can.