Complaints can have unexpected benefits

Since I was such a downer in my weekly report, I thought I'd share something cheery with you to balance things out. Last year I started subscribing to a Norwegian sports magazine, only to discover it was actually an organization for sports "enthusiasts". I don't know what you'd call them. Anyway, they've had a couple of articles saying "Why are our membership figures declining? The number of people who participate in ski events and races are rising?" I eventually wrote in, saying that I think it's because average people don't feel like they can identify with them, etc.

The upshot was that they asked if I'd like to start writing for them. Unpaid, as they're a membership organization who depend on members to contribute. So I had a meeting with them, and my remit is to write articles to inspire people who don't consider themselves sporty. People like me who came to running late in life, or who are trying it out for the first time. People who read these magazines with skinny, long-legged Norwegians who "are running their first marathon", but actually have done some other kind of sport for 20+ years. If this works out, it might even turn into a column!

Just reading the above, the me of 20-25 years ago is seriously ROTFL.

14 Replies

  • That's brilliant! I think that people who've always been very fit and athletic can't always relate to beginners and can be (unintentionally) off-putting so this sounds like a great idea. Go you!! :) :)

  • Wow! Would love to read your articles...

  • Like roseabi I'd love to read your articles.

    And I think that there are many stories posted on these community sites that you could use as examples.

  • Wow - that sounds like a great opportunity and will certainly broaden the magazine's appeal. Good luck!🙂

  • Excellent! If Norwegian fitness magazines are anything like the English ones, then I think your criticism was spot on. And they chose a great way to address the issue. Like others have said, I'd love to read your articles (and I can even read Norwegian, as long as it's not nynorsk!)

  • That is great. I was attracted to c25k because 'anyone can do it'. Getting that message across is so important.

  • Congratulations! I hope you will let us read your articles :-) I read Norwegian :-)

  • That is excellent news.

    I still haven't shaken off my impression of too many sporty people (I rather suspect that one might get a misleadingly rosy impression from the HU running forums, maybe because of how we started, keeps our feet on the ground metaphorically if not literally) - I think AnneDroid is being generous about some of them being unintentionally offputting, and others don't model anything particularly encouraging to anyone who wants to live a well-rounded healthy life. So there is definitely a place for what you are doing.

  • Wow! Fabulous! That should be good fun. The pen is mightier than the sword. To work!

  • thats great and your spot, not enough time is giving to newbies, we have'nt all been doing this for 20 odd years or even 5 years. I am coming up to 3 years of running this summer and I still feel like a newbie.

    good luck with the articles and i am sure your going to publish them here fully translated :)

  • Now that is really exciting and you will be fabulous....... well done and you will most certainly will be inspiring :)

  • Exciting times! I'm sure you'll get a fan club really quickly. If you're writing in English and not in Pingu, I'd love to read them :)

  • Well done, C3PO! Your articles on "non-sporty" people are much needed to fill a gap for those of us who are not iron men and women.

    I don't know if you read the UK paper The Guardian, but they have a regular column called "How was your weekend running?" It's good to read, but the comments on line can be a bit daunting - sort of "Did a cheeky run up Ben Nevis this morning, lol", "Did two laps of the Marathon des Sables for a bit of a laff as I wasn't up for a hard work-out", that kind of thing.

    Given that I run as slowly as a very slow thing that travels extremely slowly, I'd say that your work is essential - I hope they keep you on!

  • Thanks a lot, Katie204. Those types of comments really annoy me. How nice that running is easy for some, but it's actually hard for quite a lot of us.

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