It was an unexpected request when a friend asked if I would share my food prep during a week of endurance training. Immediately I felt cornered and embarrassed and inadequate. I am not training for a race right now. In fact, I am not even running. I felt as though I was wearing the gear but only hanging out at the water cooler. To answer the request would mean I was pretending to be something that I used to be. I did a mental shake, and asked if the food journal information could come from a previous year. When she answered ‘yes’ the relief was palpable and I set about researching into my formerly active self.
I am amazing. At least, that is what my training journals told me as I looked back through the logs for the first time in over 9 months. Over the past five years or so, I have recorded and kept paper and electronic food, exercise, and running journals. I have amassed an amazing resource of training habits, exercise preferences, and food choices. I can easily choose any day in 2013 and discover my run volume for the day, the previous night’s sleep, and even my water and food intake. Why have I forgotten this?
See, at the heart of things, training logs are invaluable; I teach this to my running groups, at least I did while I taught. I tracked everything and kept myself accountable to my goals and to my coaching group and I invited them to do the same. I liked that version of me. I recorded every single run. Every single bit of food. Every move I made in an effort to capture the truth of who I was as an active person. I felt as though I could represent myself through the lists and columns and ‘look at what I can do’ ‘see? I’m really trying and really improving.’
This is why I have floundered in the wake of certain health issues that have kept me from being that active. I haven’t had much to put in these logs and have felt inadequate to the superhero version of myself represented on those pages. I have felt like I am letting my previously awesome self down but I’ve noticed a trend, too: I validated my athleticism in that struggle and ignored the dramatic changes in effort to reach my goals. I showed up for everyone, including my own ego, at the expense of me. Know what? I’m tired of renting out my body. I’m ready to move in.
Training logs will continue to play a major role in my athletic goals. I enjoy running, yet, I only ever documented my physical representation of the sport. I think on some level, I started this blog as a way to explore the emotional side of training, but it was just so easy to track numbers and calories and heart rate and elevation and distance…It makes me wonder if the health issues arose out of the unacknowledged emotional side of pushing oneself to achieve.
So, I am starting fresh. New. I’m keeping the good habits and adding more that are supportive. Getting this shift explained on this blog has haunted me for the past few weeks. I didn’t want to misrepresent myself anymore. I just want to move forward and explore the limits and abilities this body has in a way that honors my soul. Sounds far out maybe, but it sounds just right to my heart.
Stop in, read, reflect. I’ll be writing.