I started this blog to brand myself, give insight into the life of an extremely passionate soon-to-be elite, and highlight the high’s and lows of a 20-something year old. But, inevitably, it always comes back to branding – in being, living, portraying the idea of what a dedicated, striving professional is. But, to be honest, 2 years since my first post, I still don’t entirely know what that is. Or, if I want to embody it. Based on your comments, apparently I wasn’t ‘faking it till I make it’ either –
“You change your mind a lot.”
You give off an image via social media that, for better or worse, may or may not be anything like you in the flesh. A year and a half ago, a week before the US Champs, I tweeted about a crazy night in Oregon. I had flown in to Portland, taken a train to Niketown, transferred to 2 buses, and walked a half mile with 2 pieces of luggage the size of body bags to finally arrive at Chris Solinskys doorstep. He had the key to my home for the next 2 weeks – Lopez Lomongs apartment while he was altitude training in Flagstaff. The apartment key was still attached to Lopez’s car key. “Oh, you can give me that too, Lopez said I could use his car” mumbled out of my mouth without even thinking about the gravity of this massive lie. So, there I was, a week later, pulled over for not having my lights on (you’d understand if you’ve ever had a Portland summer), without proof of legally being able to operate a motor vehicle (I had misplaced my license the previous fall), driving a ‘stolen’ car, with registration that didn’t seem to exist, in a car that was insured under Joseph Lomong, a completely different name than stated in my original story to the curious officer. “Lopez Lomong, ya know, he’s an Olympian” I said to the cop. He wasn’t impressed by my seemingly fabricated story or by the amount of paperwork I was beginning to represent. He gave me a warning and let me go. That cold beer I was heading to, yea, it was sounding even tastier!
My friend and I must have been the only females in the entire bar that night because we spent the majority of our time shooing away overly friendly men that were way too interested in our day jobs. Thirty minutes after arriving at the class-less hole in the wall, we headed for the door. 2 guys blocked the exit asking why we were leaving so early. Seriously, I already explained this, we only went for 1 drink. He boldly rebuttled “so, we know you’re into exercise and all, so why don’t you ladies come back to our place for a workout.” I quickly uttered “she’s a born again Christian”, pointed at Stephanie Pezzullo and ran like a giddy school girl into the car.
It was funny. It’s still funny. I tweeted about it. I lost a ton of followers. I cared. I don’t care anymore. I run.. a lot, but it’s not my entire world.
I’m pretty sure anyone whose started a business, tweeted, or posted a status update understands me. You try to represent more than yourself – a job, a passion, a cause. But, you’re not allowed to stray from that image; you’re supposed to embody it. Obviously, because you studied nutrition and passed the RD test, therefore nullifying any ability you once had of having a fat day. Seriously though, you’re going to take advice from some lady that’s bitching on Facebook about all the Twizzlers she just gorged on? Or entrust your son with a teacher after seeing a picture of her butt up and out, keg standing during a Halloween-ragger?
When’s the TV time out from work? Can I post a picture with an alcoholic drink? Am I allowed to tweet a music video showing off my suh-weet white girl dance moves? Because, I feel entrapped in no’s. I feel claustrophobic trying to brand myself into something a potential sponsor is looking for instead of just being me. Screw the image.
I know the things that are important to me, but I’m not exactly sure where to find them.
I’m not a professional. Like, I’m actually not.
And perhaps you’re onto something, it’s been a few days 😉