Esoteric: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge of interest
There are a few things that interest me that are esoteric: they are things you cannot understand unless you have experienced them. Some of them are things that people think they can understand, or are also interested in, but unless you’ve been there, done that, trust me — you don’t really get it.
So a small, esoteric group of people will totally get this post. Other people will have suggestions, or sympathy, no doubt.
Most of us cluster somewhere in the middle of statistical distributions. But there are lots of bell curves, and pretty much everyone is on a tail end of at least one of them.
Getting out of BOTP
If you don’t know what BOTP stands for, which is back of the pack, by the way, chances are you have never been there. And you don’t understand the frustration of being there, either.
Or maybe you were there once due to illness or injury. Still not the same thing as coming in consistently BOTP.
Just as I don’t know (yet) what it’s like to be DFL (dead friggin’ last) or to have the sweepers right behind me. I might sympathize with those who have been swept or been threatened to be swept, but I’m not a part of that esoteric group.
You may think you understand how it feels to be BOTP: most of us do want to get faster, to do better, to challenge ourselves.
As the quote above says, we almost all are outside “normal” at some time. And it’s frustrating.
But unless you’re a BOTPer like me, who puts in the work, but remains BOTP, you just don’t understand. You don’t have to play the violins here, I’m not looking for sympathy or advice — just remember you have to walk (or run) a few miles in someone else’s shoes before you can truly know them.
If you’ve ever won an age group award (and weren’t the only person in your age group), then you don’t understand. If you’ve ever had a bad day and found yourself unexpectedly in the BOTP, then again, trust me, you don’t understand.
Some of you do, though.
Weight loss & weight management
Almost everyone, it seems, wants to lose weight. It’s not really an esoteric goal. To have struggled to maintain your weight your entire adult life, to have more than just vanity pounds to lose — more than once! — that’s an esoteric group.
Maybe not for runners — or maybe it is. It seems as though most of the runners I meet are naturally thin. Of course most of the women would love to drop a few pounds, but they’ve never really been heavy or struggled with their weight, so they don’t understand why I’m so careful about what I eat.
And yet I know I’ve seen plenty of heavy runners, too. You know, those ones that are always passing me in races? Runners come in all shapes and sizes. Good runners come in all shapes and sizes, too, which always blows my mind!
There are a lot of diseases that run in my family and being overweight can contribute to them. When I lost weight in my late 20s, it was mostly vanity (and tired of always being tired). Now, in my late 40s and early 50s, it’s a lot more about being healthy.
So no, you may never understand my approach to eating or my need to maintain a certain weight. That’s okay. I know why I do it, and that’s the most important thing.
One thing I know for sure
We all have things we go through, and struggle with, that only a small group of people really understand, and that, to me, is the definition of esoteric.
Tell me in the comments:
What esoteric groups are you a part of?
Would you rather not be a part of those groups?
Do you feel there are things about you other people just don’t get?