Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Birdcamp (and why I don't want to go)

I'm sure that all 6 of you reading this blog know that I run for Oiselle, and have for 7 (!!) years now. But I didn't go to birdcamp this year, and I haven't gone in the past. For many ladies, birdcamp is the pinnacle #runfamily experience, and many pinch pennies and bargain with their families to be able to go. I am reflecting today on why birdcamp is not for me, and probably won't ever be for me.

One word sums up why I have not wanted to go to birdcamp: Introvert. The idea of spending several days doing non-stop social activities with a big group of people (albeit a fun group of runners) sounds slightly nightmarish to me! In the past, I may have felt more pressure to go just because everyone else was going. But I know better now, thanks in part to the book Quiet -- The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain. I read this book a couple years ago and it was a game-changer. I used to think that I was just fiercely independent, and that's why I needed so much time to myself. While I definitely have an independent streak, I also crave silence and alone-ness. Note: I didn't say 'lonliness", alone does not equal lonely! In a world that rewards and encourages extroversion, it is easy to feel "not enough" as an introvert. But ultimately, when I embrace my true self (introvert), I am happier, healthier, more creative, and probably a lot nicer (haha).
That is why, my friends, I will probably steer clear of birdcamp indefinitely. While I'm sure some introverts have gone and had a great time, it's just not for me, and I'm not afraid to admit it!

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