Safe Unsubscribe

When I finally got real with myself in my recovery from OTS, it was a bit of a bumpy ride. I was having a hard time telling myself that stepping away from running was not only good for me “in theory”, it was necessary. The FOMO was real and I felt like everywhere I looked, there was another reminder of trails I wasn’t running, races I wasn’t training for, and equipment I didn’t need to buy.


I wish I could tell you that I was strong enough to just ignore the barrage of emails, social media posts, and messages from friends asking me if I was still going to do XYZ 50 Miler this year as I had done every other. I was not. I had to make some hard choices in order to make it easier, since I had promised to be kinder to myself through the process. Deleting accounts seemed reactionary and not replying to friends’ messages was downright rude. Still, there had to be a way to cut down on the noise.


I had to ask myself what was the most annoying jab that I encountered on a daily, if not hourly basis. One morning, I checked my mail to find at least eight automated emails from various mailing lists that I had inadvertently joined in the process of signing up for races, buying running shoes, or just keeping up with ultrarunning news. I opened the first one telling me about the coming season’s race offerings and scrolled all the way down to the bottom. There, in tiny letters where the words I was looking for.


Safe Unsubscribe


Yes. Thank you very much. I will.


And I did. Not just to that email list, but to many others that no longer served me. One by one, I said goodbye to the apparel companies, race directors, trail shoes, hydration packs, news outlets, podcasts, and magazines.


Today, my inbox is usually crammed with the usual detritus; a newsletter from Book Riot, a recipe from Joy the Baker, Turbotax reminding me that it’s that time of the year again. Every once in a while I’ll still get an announcement from some race company. I might even open it. But, it doesn’t affect me nearly as much as it used to. Even so, I still scroll to the bottom and look for those greyed-out letters telling me that it’s ok to let go for now. It’s ok to send it away until further notice. It’s ok to Safe Unsubscribe.