The Bib of Belonging

After tonight’s run, lovelies, I had to scribble down in my notebook all of the things which occurred today and which might be pertinent to the furthering of my (and your?) understanding of The Wakefield Doctrine.

Buuuut because my ‘notebook’ is really my brain, and I rarely do ‘scribbling’, I thought I’d skip the step with paper and ink and head straight for the pixels.Β 

(Before I begin, let me provide a quick re-cap of those tricksy Doctrine personalities and what they stand for:

scott – the predator, the dazzler, the loud-and-lairy, energetic one. Will be funny or sexy but ALWAYS the life of the party. Acts first, (maybe) thinks later.
Likes – other scotts, as long as they know where they stand in the pecking order. Also known to like clarks, as long as they don’t get too cerebral.
Dislikes – rogers. Not so much ‘dislikes’ as ‘eats for breakfast’

roger – the precise, the group member, the one with all the referential authority and desire to fit in. The one in touch with their emotions and most understanding of the emotional state of those around them.
Likes – other rogers. As long as they behave well and fit in.
Dislikes – predator scotts and weird, round-peg-in-a-square-hole clarks

clark – the outsider, the thinker, the one who wants to be in the middle of things but is usually crippled by self-doubt. The one who can come up with a brilliantly devious plan on short notice, and has the balls to carry it out.
Likes – scotts, as long as they don’t overstep the mark. Rogers…from a distance.
Dislikes – no-one, in principle, but often wrongfooted by rogers.

now that’s out the way)

So this bib of mine. The running one, which certified me as a member of the herd and truly one who ‘belongs’ (see ‘All you need is a good bra and a decent pair of shoes‘ if you missed it)

It gave me fresh insight tonight, as I ran to the running meet (I missed a run on Monday and in true overachiever style, wanted to make up for lost time) wearing said bib and feeling like a complete plonker in my neon yellow and reflective stripes.

But as I ran through the (relatively) crowded city centre, I realised something. No-one was giving me a second glance. I wasn’t some chunky lady desperately trying to overcome her weight issues by having a bit of a jog around in the dark…I was a runner. With Running Gear. And clearly, if I had Running Gear on, I must be a Pretty Serious Runner. (I hasten to add – this perspective was totally gleaned from being completely ignored by all passers-by, and my own extrapolations – these observations are totally unsubstantiated, but because I’m a clark, and it suits me, I shall proceed as if I were right, ‘kay?)

So then, my perspective changed as I shifted my paradigm from ‘lonely jogger’ to ‘evident running group member’ and I stopped minding about jogging (and huffing and puffing and sweating) in public. Because that’s What Runners Do. And it was fine.

[You see how the Wakefield Doctrine has its uses as a tool, right?]

And so, even though I arrived at the meet a little late, out of breath and looking like I’d already run several miles (I had), I stood and made some small talk, and in spite of being alone in the group, I was also together in the group, because of the Bib of Belonging. We were all neon together.

And yet, sufficient of the clark-aspect was shining through to ensure that I felt compelled to heed the suggestion given last time by one of the leading roger-runners “You’re too fast for the slow group. Fast group for you, next time.”

I didn’t want to let her down. In spite of a lack of confidence in my own abilities, and a deep concern that I’d end up making a fool of myself, I wanted to prove myself to the lady and earn her…what? Her respect? Her admiration? Her endorsement? The silly thing was, she wasn’t even there tonight!

Regardless, I hesitantly signed up to be in the fast group (who were running a couple of extra miles in the same hour as the slow group) and off we set. I got myself next to the leader and ‘locked on’. I kept pace, knowing that I was probably annoying the heck out of all the other rogers in the fast group, for being such an upstart and presuming that I could immediately take position at the front of the pack. Certainly none of the younger rogers talked to me (though one of the older ones did – I guess time and experience affords rogers more compassion than outrage in these scenarios), but nor did I talk to them. My target, the leader, was good to chat to, and that was good enough for me.

There was little chance to chat, though, for the running was SO much harder, that none of us had any breath left for words. The pavements were well and truly pounded to the tune of 5-and-some miles in 55 minutes. And all the time, an encounter from the time before kept running through my mind:

Roger Leader: How did you find it?
Me: Well, I think I found my limits!
Roger Leader: No…you’re still standing, aren’t you?

So this time as I ran, her voice was on replay –

Breathing ragged, sweat in eyes, knees aching and thighs on fire – “You’re still standing, aren’t you?”

Feet hurting, blisters forming, hair a complete mess – “You’re still standing, aren’t you?”

Calf muscles spasming, heart pounding, head ready to explode – “You’re still standing, aren’t you?”

And at the end of the run, having kept up with the leader for the ENTIRE TIME, I lost the will in the last half mile and got passed by every other person in the damn group. Which was probably as well, for it will have cemented that I’m Not That Good Yet, and therefore Not A Challenge Or A Threat, which might help them suffer my presence more cheerfully another time.

And at the end of it all, I was Still Standing. And the rogers all congratulated me.

And it felt really good. For a clark, the endorsement of rogers can be far more meaningful than that of scotts, because by their very nature, a roger will never individually accept anyone – there has to be a group consensus.

And when it happens, it’s AWESOME, because, as an outsider, the thing I want so much, so often, is to be in, whether that be included, invited, involved…

And tonight, thanks to that Bib, I was.


33 thoughts on “The Bib of Belonging

  1. All thanks to you, really – I would've never taken the training seriously if I hadn't had that race, and would never have continued if I hadn't found that I can do it. So thanks for that πŸ˜€

    SO freakin well, actually! Not compared to 'proper' runners, but I'm still in the 'fast' group, and still just about keeping up πŸ™‚


  2. Sometimes knowing what you're NOT is as important as understanding what you ARE. It all helps, and the point is, that with learning, the Wakefield Doctrine has use as a tool to manage social situations better i.e. by translating and understanding the personalities one encounters, one is better able to plan one's response.

    And thank you. Twice πŸ™‚ (you should see what I did with my adorable graphic this weekend! Ow!)


  3. Fascinating to hear your 'take' on yourself. And Clark says that everyone is likely to be each of them at some point or another…

    AWEmazing (okay, no, that doesn't quite work, but you catch my drift) πŸ˜‰ Why not! Make it the word of the day. Sounds fun πŸ˜€

    And so you leave me thinking about your running, Sandy – who chases you and why? Does this happen often?


  4. I'm awestruck by your running story: 1)because it's AWESOME and 2) I don't run unless being chased so I'm always in awe of people who do πŸ™‚
    I have been spending some time at the Doctrine and trying to figure out where I fall. There was a time in my life when I definitely would have defined myself as a Scott. But not anymore. So what I am trying to figure out now is am I more Clark with some Rogers tendencies or vice versa. Probably the first. I'm still thinking!


  5. Awww thanks Kris πŸ™‚ And no, the running thing is REALLY not easy! Nor the going and getting into it – it's been EFFORT, yo! πŸ™‚

    You're welcome. You gonna share that self-diagnosis at some point? Glad you found it helpful πŸ˜‰ *hugs*


  6. I'm so proud of you, Lizzi! I know that may sound silly b/c you're an adult and all, but this running thing…not easy. And to jump in like you have…I think it's fabulous!

    Also, thank you SO much for the brief tutorial on the doctrine. I think I have self-diagnosed accurately but not entirely sure…but regardless, thanks for the info!


  7. Oh COOL! Joy, you should come over to the Wakefield Doctrine more often and join in! I didn't have a clue at first, but I found that bugging Clark with loads of questions was a really good way to learn…and then there are the VidBrunches…

    And thanks – I felt like I tried really hard at it πŸ˜€


  8. Are you totally sure that this one was coherent? πŸ˜‰

    And thanks πŸ™‚ So far so good – just gotta get a little bit more rogerified in this and other areas of life, and my Wakefield Education will be almost complete πŸ˜€ Then I'll be a….


    What comes after downspring?? Upwelling? Not sure I want to be one of those…


  9. I spy a scottian secondary then πŸ™‚ Perfick πŸ™‚ You and I would DEFINTELY get along well IRL πŸ˜€ You sound like me.

    (Apart from if I get too awkward, I'll either go introverted or TOTALLY LAIRY (and have discovered the latter to be a far more effective strategy))


  10. You would have guessed me as a SCOTT? Really?! You know, maybe I can see that because my personality sort of vomits out (for lack of a better term) on line, and I do have a big one (as do you) but IRL I'm SO super introverted unless around my group whom I'm ultra comfortable with. I'm awkward and goofy. I always feel like the outsider, or like I don't fit it. Always. But once I DO fit in….I'm the crazy one fer sher. The impulsive, loud, crass, silly one.


  11. I love that you had such a good experience!! Kudos for staying with the leader the whole run! Wow!

    And THANK YOU! Because, due to your explanation, for the first time ever I have understood what clark, scott and roger really means and which one is the most fitting for me!! Yay!


  12. Ha! I came to read last night, but I was so tired, I didn't think I could make a coherent comment, so I came back. πŸ™‚
    Wellll done! I totally placed myself in the clark's shoes…running…for the life of me…and it does feel good to get accepted with group consensus, though I've learned to never expect it, lol.


  13. I felt pretty good about it. But no limping home – I got a lift with my friend who's also in the club, so getting home was sheer luxury of sitting down. I have achey legs this morning though – wow!

    But the ADRENALINE *right* after the run! Wow! NOW I get it! πŸ˜€

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwh fanx *HUGS*


  14. It sure beats running alone – I can definitely say that for certain! The levels of experience and encouragement which are freely shared in the group are fantastic, and I'm learning loads. Like last night, I was able to put into practice some tips gleaned at last week's 'Track' session (raise your heels higher when you're tired) to keep up. And it WORKED!

    I'm glad that your kids are so sporty, and that you encourage them in that. I grew up without any encouragement to 'do' sports or dance or anything at all, and it took its toll – only now am I getting fit, and it's hard flamin' work. Keep them running πŸ™‚

    And thank you πŸ˜€


  15. I know that to some people, my timings will be a joke, but I'm really happy with how I'm doing (oh look, clark – nice self-undermining – get it in there before anyone does it for me…at least the WD helps with self-awareness!)

    Are you really? I had a flavour of that, but I would've guessed your primary as scott…interesting! Nice to meet you, clark πŸ˜‰ (and hi to actual Clark, as well *grins*)

    YAY! FIRST COMMENT πŸ˜€ *hi-fives* *dances*


  16. Oh Lizzi!!! I just LOVED this story!! And how amazing you are to keep up with the leader going so fast AFTER you already ran several miles to get there?!!! I am sooooo PROUD of you!!! You must have limped home feeling pretty damn good girl.

    You are always INcredible to me….:) XOXOXOXO


  17. 'holy shit balls' indeed! lol

    (some blogs are more fun than others to score a 'First Comment' than others, this here blog here is one of those that it is worth it… metaphorical high five!)


  18. Wow, you actually made me miss running. The one thing I liked about running was the group of people surrounding me. It's why I let my kids run cross country during soccer season. Everyone should be in a group like that some point in their lives. I'm so, so happy for you. You are doing marvelously!


  19. Awwww, I love this! That's so awesome! And wow, good on you for even trying, much less keeping up, I'm so impressed, truly! I love you last lines where you say: “as an outsider, the thing I want so much, so often, is to be in, whether that be included, invited, involved…” That's so “Clark” and so true. So me too. I'm Clark all the way, as if there was any doubt πŸ™‚ Proud of you; happy for you.


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