Mid-week Musings

If you follow me on Facebook then you’ve seen a few posts of things that have caught my interest. In the rare instances I have a few spare minutes, I like to scour the internet for current events, interesting stories, random ramblings.

And here are few things I’ve come across–

Oprah Bashing

My buddy Sara@Running On Healthy wrote a very interesting post (all her posts are interesting) about an article she read on how Oprah ruined the marathon. This guy wrote how Oprah caused a surge in interest in people to run a marathon.

So what, you ask?

Well, the author basically says that because of Oprah, the marathon is no longer competitive and American marathon times have plummeted because regular Joes think they can run it and are running it but according to him, in absurdly slow times.

Wait, what??? People are interested in running? People want to challenge themselves and do something different? People want to do something…..good for them??

And this is bad???

I never understand people who get upset at those wanting to better themselves. I get being concerned they do things the right way, the healthy way, but to blame people for the “demise of the marathon” just because they’re not fast? That is what’s absurd.

This ties in to something else I came across.


I’m a pop culture kinda gal and like to be in the know all things celebs, so every now and again I check out People.com. There was an article about a woman the other day who posted this photo on her Instagram account.

The mom got so. much. backlash.

And if I’m going to be completely honest with you, I don’t feel a whole lot sorry for her. While I do not think women should be criticized for their commitment to staying fit, there’s something about the “no excuse” mantra trend that’s been going around that kind of bugs me.

Kids are not an excuse. I know that many women want to work out but because of life, they’re just not able to. It’s. not. an. excuse.

People always tell me how much they admire my commitment to running considering I have a full-time job, two kids, and a husband who enjoys my company. It’s definitely tough balancing everything and yeah, I find time to make it all work, but I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s easy and that anyone can do it. That everyone else who is not working out is making an excuse. I would never want to make other moms feel guilty–I have no idea what they’re going through. What I do know is how difficult it is finding time and a way to prioritize yourself (no matter how important you know it is).

I think had this mom used a different slogan, catch phrase, caption, words of advice, something a little more encouraging, inspirational—beside the “no excuse” thing, I’d be more apt to defend her. I admire any woman who commits themselves to fitness, mom or not. It’s what motivates me to keep at it.

The photo is motivating. The words are not.

Ultra Crazy?

Finally, I found this article on msn.com about this guy from San Francisco who ran 7 marathons, in 7 continents, in 7 days.

Yes, you read that correctly.

At first, I was like, “Coooool!” Then, I was like, “Oooooouch!”

It’s called the World Marathon Challenge and 11 other people made the attempt.

At one point, Durbin, the American runner, ran 3 marathons on less than 9 hours of sleep! Could you imagine??? He said that he started feeling the effects of the running and travel before his 5th race in Morocco. Lactic Acid anyone? The first race in Antarctica did a number on his body — because of the extreme temperatures — and the last one in Australia. Talk about extremes.

Isn’t that insane?

I’m exhausted just reading about it.


So, those were a few things that caught my eye this past week. What are your thoughts them?

–Did Oprah ruin the marathon? (She’s motivated the hell outta me; I’m still gunning for her time!)

–Was it poor word choice on @SuperAbs mom?

–Would you consider a World Marathon Challenge? (And we thought Dopey was tough!) (Wait, I still do!)

36 responses

  1. Ok whoa super abs mom. The notion that it is an “excuse” is pretty lame. All women and men are different and pregnancy and post pregnancy are no easy task and everyone and their bodies handle it differently. I can’t stand that attitude of “I did it so you can too.” Well maybe I can’t for various reasons and that is none of your business. We should be cheerleaders for each other regardless of the path we choose!

  2. I think that that was veryy poor word chose for abs mom. I think everyone wants a good body after pregnancy, society has made that a big deal, so I don’t think new mom’s need to see things like this. It’s not motivating, actually if I would have seen it I would have been disheartened. People should focus more on helping new moms, not bashing them.

    And the Oprah thing. I think it’s ok for everyone to run marathons. As long as they put effort into it. If their best effort is 5 hours, that’s good, but if they walk the whole thing and do it just to say they did one.. than no. But I definitely agree with you. It’s great that others want to improve themselves.!

  3. Personally, I don’t like the words “no excuse” either. I think people are different and first of all, it’s not even NECESSARY to work for a six pack. I’m not a mom and I don’t have a six pack. And I really don’t care that I don’t. I’m fit and healthy and I really ENJOY what I do and I think that’s what matters most. I would never want to place that kind of pressure on anyone (especially a mom with a bajillion responsibilities). With that said, you are a huge inspiration for being able to do what you do!!! Superwoman Helly! 😀

  4. Omg, that guy bashing Oprah is absurd! Who cares how slow people run marathons- did he not consider all the runners who raise money for charity? All the marathons across the U.S. thanks to the rising interest in running? & I know of other people as well who use beating Oprah’s time as a goal-motivating for sure!
    3 marathons on less than 9 hours of sleep? I can’t imagine it. Never mind hoping all over the globe in one week! Traveling alone is tiring, but traveling + marathons? Wow!

  5. I saw that Oprah article too. Aaah, the Oprah effect. The super fast runners are still out there, why can’t the rest of us join in on the fun? If someone wants to train and run a marathon or whatever distance for that matter. Who cares how fast you can do it, you are still doing it!

    I read about Abs Mom too. I work full time and have a preschooler. In addition to long runs on the weekends, I already get up at 4:45 and go to the gym Monday through Thursday to workout for about an hour or so before going back home to get ready for work and get my kid ready for school. After work, I pick her up, make her dinner, and she’s in bed by 8ish (on a good night). Am I then supposed to go back to the gym? I’m not really striving for her look so I’m not giving her any excuses. I eat what I want and how I want, I have my gym and run schedule and I’m happy and my family is happy. Don’t try to bring me down Abs Mom!

    We live in America. This is a place that glorifies socialites, but we also have Meryl Streep. Don’t hate on people for going after a dream!
    On the other hand, don’t be a show off (cough abs mom). Inspire, don’t shame.

  7. I can kinda understand what the article’s author was getting at with the Oprah thing. There seems to be a huge surge these days in “celebration of mediocracy.” Folks run a halfer in 16 minute miles and get a billion facebook likes for their incredible achievement. I have to admit, it makes my skin crawl. That being said, however, my hard effort is someone else’s half-assed attempt. Who am I to judge? As long as people respect the distance of the marathon and train for it, then I say go for it. Besides, if I want to be competitive, race, and try to age-group medal, I’m still free to do it!

    • I’m not against anyone finishing anything at a specific time so long as they are safe about it–train and know what they’ve gotten themselves into. And exactly, if someone wants to be competitive, than go for it!

  8. I am also against the “No Excuse” mantra. I think, in most cases, the intent is good BUT it just doesn’t work. The picture? Great. Definitely needs another catchphrase.
    How could anyone ruin a marathon? Oprah definitely didn’t. If he wants to be fast, go out there and run fast. Don’t put down another person’s achievement!
    Dopey is on my list…a world marathon challenge? I’d like to think maybe one day. 😉

  9. Superabs mom is a personal trainer and a fitness model. It’s her *job* to look like that. She discounts a number of privileges that afford her the opportunity to have that body. It’d be a lot harder if she had a job that didn’t let her exercise – how about being a bus driver or a minimum wage worker working 2 jobs for 80 hours per week? She has a healthy child. She doesn’t have to spend hours on a hospital wondering if her child will be fine. I can go on and on. It’s not fair to other women who have real challenges in their life to say that they aren’t doing well enough because of some arbitrary societal standard of beauty.

    • YES! She has no idea what is going on in the lives of others–what prevents them or what makes it difficult to work out. I think those women who push the “no excuses” thing should think about that more.

  10. Those are some good articles! I think Oprah running a Marathon is fantastic and encouraging others to be active – winner in my mind. The whole no excuses thing – I just don’t understand the need to shove it in people’s face. I don’t feel anything for her. And 7 Marathons in 7 days…WOAH!!!!

  11. People just love to hate on Oprah. I am so over the “anything that makes this accessible, ruins it” trend. I had a friend who was complaining he was mad someone built a wider path into a local park. And it’s like “Oh, so you don’t want people with wheelchairs, canes, or walkers to be able to enjoy nature too?”

    But I will say, on the no excuses thing. It’s fine to have excuses, IMO. Kids are an excuse, It’s definitely easier to find time to work out without kids. (Or so I hope!) I just don’t think you should succumb to your excuses. But I don’t think having a 6 pack is a feasible goal for all people. IDK.

  12. I personally am not a fan of Oprah, but I wouldn’t credit her for ruining the marathon, if anything, she has brought more people to the sport we love and that is always a good thing (IMO.) As far as ab mom, I can understand all the points everyone has made about the “no excuses.” I guess it doesn’t personally offend me, mainly because I really don’t care what others are doing if it doesn’t affect me. You have a kid and a 6 pack (and are also a fitness model?) Good for you. I don’t really see the point of rubbing that in people’s faces, but to each their own I guess.

    And 7 marathons in 7 days is seriously nuts, but add in the travel of 7 continents and it blows my mind, but kudos for those who finish it. I couldn’t even imagine that–just thinking about it hurts! HA!

  13. Oh, the Oprah guy, he sounds lovely. When I finished my first half marathon in 2013 at 16 minute pace I was under no delusions that I was equal to anyone who finished before me, but I was proud that I had accomplished my goal and set a baseline for myself upon which I could improve (yay for being down to 13:30 half marathon pace now, still “mediocre” I suppose). We all have to start somewhere and we all start under a different set of circumstances.

    I think that applies to Super Abs mom as well, we all are facing different circumstances AND more importantly we all have different goals/priorities. I have no desire to spend time working on getting abs. That’s not an excuse, that just is what it is!

  14. Haha I had never heard that people think Oprah ruined the marathon. I think that’s great that she inspired people to get out there and do something that not many people do. And I agree with the picture of the mom. That’s great for motivating people, but her choice of words probably wasn’t the best. It’s unfair to make a statement like she did without knowing the circumstances of others and a six pack, in my opinion doesn’t automatically equate to overall health. In some cases sure, but in others I feel like it’s more about the look rather than actually being healthy. I’m sorry, but sometimes I just need my 3 or more slices of pizza for my mental health if anything haha 😉

  15. Helly these are all such interesting topics. I feel like we could talk about this stuff for days. The dude who’s upset about Oprah needs to get over himself, that’s just goofy. I do like that picture the mom posted, but definitely agree that she could have used a different slogan; maybe “anything’s possible”? Don’t even get me started on the ultra crazy stuff. That’s just madness and asking for injury and illness! So glad you shared all this! Happy Thursday!

  16. Ugh, absmom. Those abs are because she has an unsustainable for most people minimal amount of body fat. I don’t find her inspirational at all — just thinking about how much time she spends fussing over her diet and working out at the expense of real life is sad to me.

  17. Oprah didn’t necessarily inspire me to run a marathon, but beating her time sure did, I beat that time this year….now I have to find someone that has a better time to beat 😉

  18. Pingback: Mid-Week Musings II | hellyontherun