February’s Folly

There is a difference between running and run training.  When I set out in the beginning of this month to start training for the Deer Lake 67, I knew I wanted to make sure that I had a balanced plan. This plan was to include speed work, hill training, and long steady distances for the run component, with the addition of core training and flexibility work. I laid out my plans like my Sunday best. All shiny and pretty and full of promise.

Sigh.

The reality of any good training plan is that you should come back from after each training session stronger than the last. Well, I forgot that point. Two weeks in a row, my shoulder was screaming. Now, I have dislocated my shoulder quite often and know my injury quite well. But, something in the plan was causing me severe grief by Tuesday evening. Crappy, eh? Well, this personal trainer slogged through and completely berated herself rather than admitting that the sheer volume of training sessions was killing me. I was feeling pretty low. I felt like I had set too great a goal and I was too inexperienced an athlete to cut it. Strong people can run this race and I was not feeling like one of them. I wasn’t even good enough to create my own training plan…who am I trying to kid?

See, I have this thing. This drive. This compulsion that makes me want to achieve everything that I set out for me to do. Somewhere along the line, someone told me I could do anything I wanted. Isn’t that sweet? Well, it only works if I am able to actually achieve it. In fact, I like to be able to see the plan and I love, love, LOVE to use highlighters to indicate my amazing success. UGHFebruary's Schedule

Looking back on this image to when I realized my flub and began drafting this post, I realized that my desire to highlight everything on this list was becoming more important than how my body felt about the process. I allowed the lure of checking off a list to take higher precedence to my well-being. This has happened to me before. This pattern has kept me from really building towards achieving a goal with strength and smarts, and ultimately be happy along the way.

When the plan gets in the way, we have to let go. Achieving a fitness, weight, or life goal is what we need to hold on to rather than the method we think will get us there. We need to be fluid and responsive and open to allow our new way to live and thrive. As such, I have realized the real checklist, the one that counts, looks more like this:

  1. Is this working for me?
  2. How can I make it better?

I don’t mean to belittle the challenge of achieving our goals, or making it sound simplistic. I know how big life is and how much pressure we can place on ourselves. But, is your life joyous? Are you happy? Is it all working for you? If you cannot ask yourself these questions because they scare you…sit down, take a moment, and be honest. I know that for myself, endless curiosity and fearsome determination will guide me to the finish line. I might as well be happy along the way.

Authenticity: It’s a Bitch

Authenticity. If there were such a thing as scary words, authenticity would be my pick. The crazy thing about this otherwise innocuous word is the fact that to have any amount of authenticity, you have to bare it all. Holding back and holding on are actions that don’t jive with the almighty authentic self. People don’t just want a piece of you; they want it all. And, what if you’re not in a place to give it? What if you are just figuring that out? Well, know what? They are going to decide for you. That’s right. Put your insecure self out there and the likelihood is that someone with a stronger will will come along and sweep you into their particular delusion of reality.

So, why is it so very hard to find oneself? Why are we all running around figuring out who we are when inside our mask/costume/protection our real self is screaming? IF we are really not ready to confront this, if we are really hiding from the idea of who we are and we don’t want anyone to see or hear or know any part of who that person actually is, …well we just fight back by being insulted by being temperamental about our choices. By doing what we “think” is “The RIGHT Thing”. Who decided there was a right thing or way or path or journey or process to arrive at some known place of development? What happened to meeting someone where they are and saying “Hi. I see you over there doing that thing that makes you unique and interesting. Not sure where you are going with that, but it’s cool. I’m not sure where I’m going with my shit either.”

I could use some more of that. Meet me where I am. Authenticity? It’s for those who say there is a right and a wrong and a way to label what is wonderful and beautiful about each of us. How about we just don’t judge…how about hugs. And acceptance. Call me a hippie. I don’t care. Maybe I’m just being authentic.

Hibernation Wake Up Call

A friend sent me a message, today. Sounds fairly routine, except this friend and I don’t really chat that often. Her message was simply that she had read this blog and that I was never obese. Weird. I am terribly grateful for the wake up call this message gave me. There are two very important messages that I received loud and clear.

1. This blog exists.  I rant, write, and think on paper all of the time. I have a variety of journals that I tote around with me. Unless I type the words here on my blog, really, what’s the point of having a blog? I am not really surprised that I do this. This has happened so many times for me, but in another aspect of my life. I deal with anxiety on an almost daily basis and when I stress, as my husband likes to put it, I get distant. I withdraw into my own little world of writing in journals, running, cooking, planning, and surviving. I tend to shut down any contact with the outside world except for bursts of contact with friends where I find myself g(r)asping for connection and air. This blog, ironically, was meant to help pull me out of this shell. I am grateful that I have been reminded of its purpose.

2. I was obese. I am not ashamed of saying that. I am not fat, but I was. It’s quite simple, really. I am a 5’2 woman with a small frame and I topped the scale at 185lbs. I was primarily fat as I was completely inactive and had no muscle tone. I suffered from “exercise induced asthma.” (Which, by the way, at my current, healthier weight, doesn’t even exist). I had to have my gallbladder removed due to a terrible diet and an eating disorder. My mind was filled with self-loathing and shame and I think that I checked out on myself, my health, and my spirit. It has been a long time coming to reclaim this body, to truly live in it, and while my mind and my spirit fight to remain distant and unreachable, I am making progress. 

I know where I came from. I am proud of where I am. I am grateful for the wake up.