You are an Experiment of 1


It’s oh-so-tempting to get caught up in someone else’s running journey. I blame Social Media for a lot of that — but sometimes there’s peer pressure in a group of running friends, too.

That peer pressure can get you out of a rut and out of your comfort zone — in a good way sometimes, and sometimes in a really bad way.

You do You
Do you look around and see someone running a ton of virtual races and think maybe I should do that?

Maybe your running friends try to convince you that yes, of course you can run that race, even though you have an injury.

Do you sign up for a trail race because all your friends are doing it — even though you hate trail running?

What about hiring a coach? Do you have a reason, or is it just someone else did it and they got stronger or faster so you think that’s the magic bullet for that?


Replace FOMO with Self Knowledge
Your mom was right, you know — if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you jump off it too?

The next time you’re faced with something “everyone is doing” or find yourself envious of a friend, try coming back to the five whys. Ask yourself why. Once you’ve come up with an answer, ask yourself why about that answer. Keep going five times. Maybe you’ll decide it’s just not right for you, because you’re an experiment of 1 — or maybe you’ll decide that it’s worth trying at least once.

An experiment of one just means that you are unique. You have to try things and decide for yourself whether or not it’s right for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t do things with your friends. I’m just saying do it for the right reasons, not because everyone is doing it or FOMO.

Which brings me to . . .

How to support your friends
Let’s say you’ve dug deep and you’ve decided you really don’t want to do what all your friends (or those runners you follow on the Internet) are doing.

Become a cheerleader! Cheer them on for every success. Maybe offer to literally go and cheer them on. Ask them to tell you about their exploits, because you know how runners love to tell you about their runs/races. Offer to help them train — which doesn’t mean you necessarily have to run as much/as far as they are, but maybe you run with them for some portion of their training.

Final Thoughts
Never was there ever another you. We are all so unique, and that makes the world and life interesting! So get to know your one precious self. Don’t be afraid to try things — but realize when it’s not for you and do your right thing.

Trying new things is never a bad thing. That’s how we grow and learn. It’s only bad when you do things just because others are doing it — and not because you really feel called to do it. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What have you tried because it looked like so much fun on someone’s IG/FB/Twitter feed?

Are you easily swayed by FOMO? 

Do you sometimes prefer to just cheer someone else on? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


21 thoughts on “You are an Experiment of 1

  1. Not sure if I’m easily swayed by FOMO but I can’t think of anything that I regret doing.

    I am usually the person who does and tries to get others to follow. That’s the teacher in me. I love to inspire others.

    It makes me happy to have so many others that are walking and doing trails and exploring new places. They tell me it’s because of me. Not bragging. Just proud mama moment.

    I don’t disagree that we should do what we want and not because others are. But most if the time people need a little push. Especially in 2020. You have to be safe. But you have to live.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To me, you are always the “well of wisdom”. This post is a gem, Judy.

    I so easily get excited when I see other runners doing stuff. Often, I enthusiastically join in even if I’m not properly trained for that particular exploit. And then I end up injured.

    I should remember to apply the 5-Why concept before I slip into the next “thrilling” adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the belly laugh, Catrina. I don’t know about a well of wisdom, and I’m sure my husband would have something to say about that, too.

      Well, it always sucks to be injured, but sometimes it’s not so easy to avoid, either. I wouldn’t say it’s worth it, but in general if you’re happy with what you did, then maybe it was sort of worth it.

      But thinking before jumping is also usually a good thing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always get excited when I see runners traveling, especially internationally, for races. It has always made me want to travel more, but not this year obviously lol

    A few years ago I definitely had FOMO and signed up for way too many races. I ended up being miserable by the end of the year because I was just doing too much. It was a great lesson to learn about balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great! I don’t get swayed by FOMO but I do go to friends I know do the thing I am considering if I am considering a thing (I’m thinking here of when I did the ultra, which I did kind of get persuaded into but I did know I could have a good chance of doing it, when I picked people who do off-road stuff to consult and to pick their brains and to see if they thought I could do it).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’d heard of the 50 states thing, and then I knew I wanted to do it. But I wanted to do it slowly, really spending time in the places I went to.

      Which sadly means I probably won’t finish, but then again, never say never.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so swayed by FOMO and peer pressure when it comes to running LOL! My response is always “what’s the worst that can happen?”

    That being said, that FOMO has dragged me out of complacency and my comfort zone, so it’s not always a bad thing. I don’t let myself be pressured into things that aren’t safe for me, but it’s ok to push a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t sign up for races just because my friends also sign up. I really do it because I want to.

    However, sometimes I compare myself to others. But I have realized that everyone is different. Example, I read stories/posts of working mothers with a few kids that work and run/train. Umm, if she can do that, so can I. But then I realize that just because she can, does not mean that I can/should too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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