#DearSolo, how do you deal with friends who do not support your racing?

By SOLO

Few weeks ago, I became one of the admins for one of the largest online obstacle racing communities, Chicked Nation.

As part of that role, I will be launching a weekly advice column #DearSolo. Think Dear Abby, but SO MUCH COOLER. So, if you have a question about obstacle racing – hit me up. Send me an email, use Contact Me form on this website, tag me on Facebook or Twitter, just remember to use hashtag #DearSolo.

Meanwhile, here’s my first shot at being an advice columnist. [Ah, I’ve always wanted to have my own advice column, and now my dream is coming TRUE!!! ;)]

Chicked Nation asks:

#DearSolo, How do you deal with women who are your friends and support you in everything but your racing?

Ha. I almost said “that’s a great question”.

One of the most common sentiments expressed in online racing communities, whether that’s Chicked Nation, Goruck Tough, or Spartan group pages is “You guys get it!”. Your best bud from high school may not appreciate how cool it is that you finally snatched 100 pounds, or ran your first marathon, or completed a Spartan Trifecta.

My female friends can be loosely categorized as those who lift/race/compete, and those who do not. With those friends who are already “in the sport” or who have a sport of their own, things are obviously easier. They get it.

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However, most of my friends who do not lift/race/compete, still support my racing. After all, it’s hard to support ME without supporting my racing.

I notice that I do not usually talk about racing to those friends – not because they do not support it, but because this is not something they are interested in. Similarly, they do not talk to me about parenting, or golf. Instead, we talk about other things that we have in common.

Perhaps, a better question is – who are the people in my life who do not support my racing? Why do they not support my racing? Are they concerned about my safety? Do they resent the fun adventures that I seem to have weekly, while they feel stuck in a rut?

For example, my mom has never been a big fan of my racing. According to her, it’s unbecoming to a woman to constantly be covered in bruises and scratches. She laments my callused palms, because they are not “ladylike”. Over the years, I have reassured her repeatedly that I do not want to die during one of these races, and will do my best to continue racing in a manner that leaves me happy and healthy (even if that means scratched up and covered in mud).

Finally, the last question, and, perhaps, the most difficult… if there are friends in my life who do not support me doing the things I love, are they really friends?

One of the hardest side effects of finding a passion, or changing paths is the fact that your social circle changes. Humans are social creatures, and we like to surround ourselves with the people who share our interests and passions, and who have our back no matter what. And with some friends, you just… grow apart.

Y’all depressed yet? 😉

The bright side, of course, is that when one door closes, the other opens. As we change and grow, not only we grow apart from some people in our former social network, but we also grow towards many others – some similar to us, some different from us – all so deliciously imperfect.

Hugs,
Solo

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Posted October 21, 2014

5 responses to “#DearSolo, how do you deal with friends who do not support your racing?”

  1. Amy says:

    Great points! The only time I’ve encountered negativity around my racing has been when I’ve incessantly talked about it (but my OCR friends would be driven crazy if all I did was talk to them about teaching). Also my husband isn’t a fan when I come home bruised and scraped (turns out he prefers his wife looking like she hasn’t wrestled with a bobcat).

  2. Charlie says:

    In my life, I find that I have a distinct lack of friends who are interested in the active things that I am involved with (CrossFit and OCRs, specifically). That’s largely because they aren’t active people. That said, I’ve gained some new friends BECAUSE of these two pursuits.

    My non-active friends don’t necessarily support me in these activities, but they don’t NOT support me. It’s just not an aspect of my life that they are involved with in any significant way.

    The most important people in my life support me (i.e., my wife and close family).

  3. Darcie says:

    I wouldn’t say my friends do not support my involvement in racing; they themselves have told me they can’t or won’t do one but I get the feeling they respect my choice nonetheless. Plus I won’t get all worked up trying to convince them to do one.

    The friends who know you well will encourage you in one way or another, even if it’s a Facebook photo like.

    My mom started off wondering why I’d fathom getting all muddy and scratched up, but now she’s one of my biggest supporters, always asking me when my next event is, or if there are new photos.

  4. […] I have talked about what to do when your female friends do not support your racing, how to balance it all, and whether OCR is a good way to meet […]

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