Super productive Saturday! Got up super early, did the parkrun, a good strength session, started my new job as a rental property onsite manager and made a huge peppa pig birthday cake for my godchild! When the weekend hits, my first thoughts are: running, cycling, lots of good coffee, time to catch up with family and friends (over lots of said good coffee), reading and probably a good movie. Occasionally, there might be a night out thrown into the mix or a party to go to but I am unashamedly NOT a weekly living-for-Friday-and-Saturday-binge-drinking-club-swinging-party-animal. Never really have been. I LOVE a good night out every now and again and really enjoy it when I’m out on the town but for me, it starts to feel really old and repetitive when it ceases to be an occasional treat and starts to work its way into the weekly routine. I know lots of people who couldn’t fathom the possibility of a weekend without a big night out and for whom the idea of going to bed early on a Saturday just so that you can get up and go for a long run on Sunday morning would make their heads spin off their Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta jiving shoulders.
We are all different and we all get out kicks in different ways. I like it that way. It’s what makes people interesting. It’s not that I think my weekend is better than the alternative or that I am seeking to diss the alternative, it’s just my own personal preference. I emphasise this point because for years, I was too embarrassed to say this to anyone, including my own family and friends. I was seen as abnormal, strange and just outright “W.E.I.R.D” because I preferred running over going out and getting sloshed like most people my own age were doing every weekend. My love of an early morning weekend run and consequent general sobriety was often, and occasionally still is, misinterpreted as snubbing the social nightlife scene. I love my friends, I love meeting new people and I love laughing more than most so if I could put it any more categorically, I was never snubbing the social scene. I love the social! Possibly a distinctly Irish perspective (is it?), this tends to be the dominant view in this country of young people who veer away from the norm such as those who, like me, want to run at the weekend, rather than drink themselves stupid. I would love to see this change. I would love to see Ireland change into a society where a young person’s desire to keep it a bit healthier and sensible over the weekend so that they can train, play sports or take part in an event is not just seen as acceptable to their peers but as something that they too could aspire to.
Most young people do not want to be seen as different or “weird”, they just want to be let alone to do what they want to do. But unfortunately, a common attribute of young people is an insufficiency of confidence, which, in turn, means they are more likely to avoid being “weird” at the expense of doing just that – what they want to do. That is why it is so important to instil confidence in children, to make them aware that being different from the norm is not a flaw or a weakness to be ashamed of or kept hidden away. To make them realise that they are not wrong to want to do something else with their Friday nights. If we do this, who knows what we could achieve – maybe a nation of Olympic runners? 😋
I love my weekends. It is my chance to enjoy running, to breathe it in and soak it all up instead of having to squeeze it into what is usually an already over-scheduled schedule on weekdays. It makes me a happy person. It is who I am. And I am not ashamed.