Why Just is not Just a Word

I recently wrote this, "yesterday I ran a measly 1.33 miles" and got this comment.....

I am so glad Shelly took the time to put me thoughts back into the right place. It really got me to thinking about my perspective on my own running. If Joe Bob told me he ran a mile I would say "great job" but if I ran a mile I think "oh my, I only ran just a mile". What is it with that word just? If you think about it, just really isn't such a great word. Do you ever use the word just to mean awesome?

Let's take a moment to see just how the word just is used.

A child wants a cookie. Sure, but just a little. Never do you hear, yes, but just a lot of cookies.

A kid wants to go the the park. Yes we can go but we can only stay just a little bit. Never do you hear, of course, but we can just stay a long time.

You work in a position fulfilling orders and report we just got a few orders today. Never do you report, we just got a lot of orders today.

I do realize being just a little sick or just a little tired or just a little late may seem better than sick, tired, or late but you really are still sick, tired, or late. And I really don't have a problem with just here but wonder why I use it so much in other ways that are really only hurting me.

I ran just a mile today. What? A mile isn't good enough? Why not be proud of that mile? And if I really need to hang on to the word just in my vocabulary, why not say I just ran a mile?

But to avoid using just in a way that could harm me and the way I view myself, I am taking a vow to eliminate the word just from my vocabulary. I want to feel full pride in each running step I take and value each step the same. The first mile is as good as mile 26.2. The first day is as good as the 100th day. Every step counts, every step is a gift, every step should be loved.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Blog comments that make me realize I am being too hard on myself or not truly recognizing the good I do
  • Massages
  • A nice sip of red wine
  • Tomatoes....really, I could never have enough!
  • Being able to make cookies later today with darling daughter!!!


  1. This is so true, Thx for reminding me of this! I think we all need to remember this when we are being hard on ourselves or even others. Just is a powerful word, so be careful how you use it :)

  2. So so true. I use JUST at the wrong times. Glad your commenter pointed that out to remind the rest of us.

  3. This is so good! I've always scolded myself for "just" running a certain pace or distance, but I rarely applaud myself for hitting a tough running goal. I've never said, "Wow, I ran only 8:30 miles in that tempo run!" So funny how that happens. Thanks for pointing this out!

  4. I am a total "just" abuser. I use it just about all the time! Ha ha, just kidding. Seriously, I use it in a way that pretty much demeans whatever follows it. Never really noticed that before. Be proud of your 1.33, and I'll try to be prouder of mine too!

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  6. Profound. Got me thinking. I have been spending time since the fall of last year trying to determine why I am critical of myself for things that I promote to others as something that makes them special, unique and beautiful. Now I want to analyze those instances and see if that "j" word shows up. Mahalo.

    Enjoy your 1+ mile today. (ignore the deleted version as I was missing a key word above and resubmitted to have the sentence make sense)

  7. LOVE this post and glad you found me (so I could find you)! You can't ever get to mile 26.2 without having run that first mile. Bravo!

  8. I can't even begin to explain how good I feel that my post today was able to touch so many in a positive way. Thank you for taking the time to comment and let me know.

  9. Adding my BRAVO too!

    I have a picture on my Twitter account about just this same thing.

    1. Thanks Elle and that is awesome you have the same thoughts on your twitter account! Go figure!

  10. Great Post! I also feel that way when I run "just a....". By the way..found your blog through our #OpHardCoreFit group. Have added you to my faves. I love blogs written by moms!!!

  11. We are SO hard on ourselves. It's really unreasonable!


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