Just over a year ago, following the 2018 Hundred Acres races, I was sent an email, calling me a charlatan!
I don’t mind admitting that at the time, I didn’t know exactly what I was being accused of being so I took to google, and what I saw made me both sad, and angry.
“a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill.”a self-confessed con artist and charlatan”
All of my working life, I have suffered from self doubt in my own ability and discovered that this is actually known as ‘Imposter Syndrome’.
“Impostor syndrome (also known as impostorphenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or theimpostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. “
This attack, by somebody who themselves had been the subject of bullying and name calling, also accused me of being homophobic!
To be honest, this all came as a bit of a shock and did nothing for my insecurity and self doubt, but I wasnt about to give up.
My ‘Imposter Syndrome’ has made me more resolute, and more intent on proving to nobody else but myself, that whilst I am not anywhere the best at what I do, I am ALWAYS the best at being who I am, what I am, and what I am capable of,
If that isn’t good enough for people, then I would prefer not to have to deal with them. There are plenty of races available to run, without people having to race the ones I organise, only for them to speak out and attack me again, for the lack of mud, for too much mud, for too many hills, for not enough hills.
Whether or not I am a charlatan, or an imposter, is for all of you to decide, but let me leave you with one thing to ponder.
All Rural Running events, are planned by me, the course is designed by me, the signs are put out by me, the race day preparations are done by me, the numbers are sent by me, emails are dealt with by me, the Race Director is me, the results are processed by me, the course is dismantled by me! This ‘hobby’ is something I do alongside a full time job that takes me away from home, and means I have to work some evening planning my activity. Saying all that, I am so lucky to have met lots of lovely people who are always happy to help, by giving up their time, to give something back. I am also blessed to have the support of an incredible wife, who selflessly gives up not only her time, but also her dining room table and spare bedrooms for the cause!
I will never be able to organise the ‘perfect’ race, but I will always try, with limited resources, to organise enjoyable, fun, and friendly events, offering value for money.
If I am indeed a charlatan, I think I am a pretty good one!
Finally …. Thank you all for continuing to support what I do, if you stop running, I’ll stop organising 🙂