No Small enemies.
I started this post back in May. Discarded it because I thought it no longer relevant.
A few months ago I went to do an open water swim with someone I really didn’t know well. She turned out to be a really fun person and we laughed about some things and had a few serious moments. Her parting words were, “There are no small enemies.”
Apparently Benjamin Franklin first said this witty little phrase. At the time that my new found pal said, it, I thought it was pretty profound, but at the same time, I giggled. In the context it was said, it didn’t make sense.
Fast forward a few weeks and I found myself engaged in a strange sort of “Mean Girls” High School Musical” style battle that I do not wish to engage in.I am an adult. I would much prefer not to be but, adulthood happens.
Most of my adult life, I have been a bit of a loner. I prefer activities like running, or swimming, or hiking about exploring, and reading. Now all of these things can be done in a group setting indeed. In fact, I know a lot of people who plan all their activities around others to be with others.
That just has never really been me. I have however, become settled in Florida. Over time, ones makes many acquaintances, and some friends. This is especially true of running people, since it seems people are always looking for someone to “run with”….So over the years I’ve gotten to know some people. Now…I’m a funny person. If you cross me and are a jerk…I’m pretty much done with you. I don’t do the Break up /get back together routine either, I just well, have better things to do than try to figure out why a person is a jerk.
Almost 2 years ago, I was able to start to train with my current coach. He doesn’t coach a ton of people, I may have been his first client. He has, however an extensive background that makes him ideal as my coach.
When I first started with him, suddenly my training looked really different from my friends. Many of my posts from that first year are entitled “And $&*(% just got real”
Fair to say I have never trained this hard in my life ever.
It paid off. I’ve had a slew of PR’s. I have most definitely gotten stronger. In addition, I’ve really grown as a person. Since the coach and I share the same faith..we tend to really look at at the events that have occurred with a God-Centric approach. As a loner, I was not used to having someone in my corner. It was really something to run an event far away and be getting emails asking “How did it go” hours after the event. Yes, he is compensated, but, just like a piano teacher they want their students to do well. So Combination for success:
Occasionally, I believe I do disappoint him, but he really has always made an effort to tell me that I never have anything to be ashamed of with him. This was huge when I had my overtraining issue and my marathon flop last year. I cried. He looked worried and then we dusted me off and moved on.
Some of this seems to have created some issues for others. Several people have taken offense when I don’t “switch up my training” so I can do a “fun run” or “run with the XYZ group”. Most eventually understood that it wasn’t about them, it was about me doing my training. Last year, a few people were delighted to participate in my workouts, but wanted to malign my coach throughout the workouts and criticize what he and I were trying to do. So, having been through that I thought this whole situation was over. I still see her around- she works where I work, but I find that I remain quite happy not training with her. She wasn’t necessarily holding me back, but she was oddly creating a lot of negative energy for me around my coach. That break up was easy. She and I did not run in the same social circles.
In the last year, a friend of mine got a job at my hospital. I was pretty excited because she has always been working out and training. We finally would have membership at the same gym and could do some workouts together.
Well. I guess in the past I had only spent a little time here and there with her, and did not really know her.
Oh My Goodness.
The first month we were in the gym together, she really embarrassed me. She’s pretty loud, and I could see that others were annoyed by the noise. I’ve developed a friendship with one of the gym trainers, and we occasionally chat. Immediately, she tried to discredit me with him through a variety of techniques… “I told her if she just…” He is kind of a quiet guy and kind of looked at her and said, “Maybe she’s doing it right and if you just..” While that stopped her in her tracks, suddenly someone was telling her they thought she was actually not correct. She stopped talking to him. A couple days later, she annoyed the hell out of my coach by trying to discuss my training with him. She annoyed the hell out of me too. My coach and I work well together. I do not want anyone messing with it. I don’t think I said anything to her, but I sent him an email asking him to not discuss my training with her. He never really said much about it but he seemed relieved. She was actually trying to copy my training plan, and I just flat out refused to let her do that.
She and a mutual acquaintance got into a thing several months ago. Now, there is no lost love between myself and the acquaintance, but she really terrorized her. Instead of just avoiding the lady, she first made all sorts of pointed posts on Facebook, designed to inflame. Then, she and the poor lady had multiple heated text messages back and forth. After that she insisted that the lady “De-friend” her on Facebook. At this point, I was like…just de friend her and get over it. At some point, the woman got tired of it and did comply and unfriended her.
Well….after the de-friending occurred, suddenly it was important that *I* post things on Facebook “so that she will see them”. I am proud to say I drew the line at that. This is just stir the pot behavior, and not very mature stirring of the pot.
After that, I became the same target. Odd little pointed comments would be made. Comments that others took as “aggressive” were made to my facebook page. I was sort of surprised but then I started to put things together. I came up with a “mean Girls action plan”. I admit I talked to another friend about what to do. That helped a lot. I decided to simply not give the big reaction, or any big justification for anything anymore.
Oh Man, that is Soo So so so hard. The neutral reaction when all you want to do is go open a can of whoop ass on someone.
It’s hard but it is working. I’ve decided not to respond to her. I “like” one or two of her photos daily (she posts about 10 a day so its easy to “like” one) but no commentary, or very neutral commentary. She posts on my statuses but I never respond to her. I’ve deleted 4 square because I realized not too many people were using it except for her and I and I found I rather didn’t like her knowing where I was all the time. In truth, I don’t care what she does. Her training is sketchy, in part because she gives a lot of slack to herself and she has a family she is also scheduling her life around which I recognize changes things. So while I don’t care, I do get totally aggravated that she consistently compares and plays the one ups game. Afriend of mine recently posted a great article about “losing weight with your spouse” My friend lost 57 pounds! Her husband lost 64! This mena girl had to announce that she lost over 100. I have lost in my like a total of 30 pounds once, I guess I’m not as good….it is always a competition.
Has anyone ever encountered the ultra competitive, not very nice mean girl (guy) in their athletic adventures? WHats triply amazing is that neither of us is elite or competitive…so…why why why does anyone have to be this way?
I can not eliminate her entirely from my life. She is toxic in her own way. SO I am hoping I’m doing the right thing here. The other option is to discuss with her why she is the way she is, but in my experience this has never created a genuine conversation, it just usually creates more defensiveness.
What would you do?
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