It’s a small world after all


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.
–Virginia Postrel

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.

Deb Runs

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?

19 thoughts on “It’s a small world after all

  1. I was going to mention the esoteric groups that I belong to but then I realized that they are sad ones. So I won’t because I don’t want to belong to them.

    Then I wondered why we first think of the negatives. How about those good groups. My friend belong to the “lucky” group – she wins at everything. My hubby belongs to the “athletic” group. He is good at every sport (naturally).

    I am sure we can both think “admirable” groups that we belong to.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I belong to a lot of admirable ones. What I said was that my first thoughts were the negative ones. As you did.


  2. I think as runners we all struggle to be faster whether we are in the back, middle, or front of the pack. It’s the nature of the beast. Have you heard of the woman who runs half marathons (or maybe fulls?) that is always purposely last so that nobody else has to be? I have so much more admiration for her — yes, more than the female winner.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I just read that only 1% of the population has run a marathon so I guess that’s an esoteric group, but it doesn’t really seem like it; perhaps because I’m surrounded by runners so much of the time.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the quote on the bell curves. I guess that I’ve been lucky to be ‘above average’ at school so I felt ok with being at the edge of that one and it compensated for being ‘below average’ at sport. Now as BOTP I’m ok with it. I like to stand outside myself and observe how people treat me -and smile because when I’m at work I’m the boss and I get treated very differently. 😆😆😆And it all makes me laugh, because at the end of the day I’m just human and how other people judge me doesn’t change anything about me.
    One thing though, I was always slim until my late 30’s and even when my BMI described me as ‘obese’ in my head I was a ‘thin person who had put a bit of weight on’. If you were overweight when you were young it must be hard to shake off that core belief about yourself in the opposite way, that you are a fat person who just happens to have lost some weight. I don’t think that either mindset is beneficial. We need to see ourselves as we really are, decide whether we accept it or not and change it if we feel that we need to. It’s nobody else’s business unless we invite them to be involved. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t heavy as a young child, but I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a teenager.

      And yes, it’s totally normal for someone who’s lost a fair amount of weight to still see themselves as fat!

      Very insightful comment, Julie!


  5. Runners ARE an elite (and esoteric) group! Just think about your non-running friends and the mystery they see in what you do. And when it comes to swimming, I will always be BOTP. I’m the slowest lil fish in the pool. But that’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s