Tuesday, May 31, 2016

On Footnotes

When I came up with the blog name "Healthy Strides," it was a concerted effort to put my headline writing skills, gleaned from years in journalism, to the test. I thought of words that related to running – sole, lace, step, mile, shoe, stride. I also came up with associations that pertained to my new lifestyle courtesy of Weight Watchers. Those were harder to find and more than likely limited to lean, well and healthy.

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The word play and lists were reminiscent of my days at the college paper when we took a collaborative approach to writing witting kickers and meaningful labels for the stories that would be packaged on our front page. But doing it on my own lacked the inspiration that comes from a group effort, and the best I came up with was Healthy Strides.

I liked the name well enough in the early days. I was taking strides toward being healthy and my strides in running were healthy ones. I had a limited view, too, of what it meant to be healthy and wanted to share that with others – not only as a means to inspire but to put it on display to prove to people that I was now different. Maybe, to prove to myself that I was now different than the 245-pound girl who moved to Fort Wayne in 2004.

As I grew as a runner and explored the world of exercise and nutrition, I became not only apathetic toward my blog name but I became to loathe it. I didn't like the idea of portraying myself as healthy because, well, what is healthy. My version is not the same version and my version isn't always concrete. It's fluid, ever changing and my adherence to that ideal can waver.

Becoming more immersed in the world of social media did not help, either. I'll never forget standing in Nuun HQ with the other members of the company's two blogger teams for Hood to Coast and announcing that I was Kimberly from Healthy Strides as others rattled off more clever or appropriate places. I chatted with one of my roommates, who has quite a large social media following, and she was incredibly encouraging. She said there was no need to be tied to "Healthy Strides," and I could change it to whatever I want.

But what did I want it t be?

It took me some time to figure out. I'd go in spurts where I would try to come up with something that reflected who I was, where I was going and what the blog would be. More often than not, though, I fell into the same trap that I did the first go-around. The titles were often cheesy and lacked character and depth.

Then, sometime last year, "Footnotes" came to me. I don't know how or when or why but it did. I shared it with a co-worker, and he gave a flat response. I couldn't tell if it was reflective of the name or the topic or his general mood at the time. I left it there but the title was always there in the back of my head.

And then, last week, I had the inspiration and courage to change.

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For me, Footnotes seemed to embody who I am. To split the word, "foot" and "notes," the blog is more often than not notes on what I do with my feet – running. This space, though, is often the comments and notes from my life – the story.

The new name gives me the freedom to write more about those things if I so choose but to keep doing what I have been (and love) without the weight of the word "healthy."

Thank you for reading.

With change comes, well, change and I'm in the process of switching over my social media accounts.

Instagram: foot.notes
Twitter: @footnotes_blog
Facebook: Footnotes