Yesterday I discovered a new narrative form (or genre/sub-genre?): my running story. I’m fascinated by how many different people have posted these stories on blogs, tracing their journey as runners, and how many similarities these stories share. There’s a formula to this type of narrative that frequently begins, “I was never an athlete/runner growing up” and ends, either triumphantly (a PR at a big race) or with hopeful determination (the will/desire to run again after injury). Usually I don’t like formulas, but I’m finding “my running stories” to be enjoyable and stimulating to read.
These stories make me curious. And they make me want to research and analyze how people tell their running stories online. What forms do these stories take? Why do people tell them? What sort of “truth” is being expressed, “authentic self” being performed? I’m thinking that part of my “marking the occasion” of my anniversary should involve this research; it seems fitting to remember/practice my academic-intellectual self.
My Running Stories: a preliminary list
- Miss Zoot
- Picky Runner
- Sweet Tooth Runner
- Loving on the Run
- Running Around the Bend
- Peanut Butter Fingers
- Losing the Glass Slippers
- My Healthyish Life
- Stop Running Away
sidenote: In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I found out about the genre though an offhand reference in Running to the Kitchen’s “My Running Story.” I was wrong; it was in a story by Loving on the Run. She writes:
This past weekend I was doing my normal blog reading, and came across Michael’s post about his running story. As I was sitting there reading I realized that I don’t think I have ever really shared my running story.
Loving on the Run
In addition to reading/analyzing “My Running Stories,” I also want to look at other ways in which runners tell their running stories and express their running selves online like, the Running Manifesto.