I know, I know, 2 race recaps in one week? But stick with me here, folks… I promise this will be worth it. I announced on Sunday my commitment to showing a little more love to myself this month, and being mindful of that topic, I wanted to address the issue of being honest, especially to oneself. Quite frankly, sometimes it hurts to admit that maybe things aren’t going your way, or maybe you have to switch paths, but taking those issues head-on can really do wonders for your mental health.
Example 1: As Much as I love Powerlifting – it wasn’t in my cards.
I dedicated the past few years of my life to powerlifting. I was very anti-cardio, always followed a strict plan, and I really wasn’t terrible at it. Unfortunately, within my resources, I would never be able to thrive.
My career doesn’t afford for me to travel for days at a time as I quit high school too soon, but I, fortunately, got My GED! So I can’t go to meets, because my location is not necessarily a hotspot for powerlifting in general. There are no decent coaches near me. There are no training facilities for me to work in. Basically, it was just me, my barbell, and a dream. Now, I know that if you want something badly enough, you will make all sacrifices to get there, but honestly, I could never see myself taking the time away from my business and my family to make said sacrifices. So while I still love to lift, it is more of a hobby and a tool to keep me healthy than the basis of my world. And while the backlash of admitting this might have lost me a few friends, and ostracized me from some social circles, I am so much happier than when I was running on a hamster wheel chasing down something that was not in my cards.
Example 2: It’s OK to Say No Sometimes
My career is fairly demanding. As an entrepreneur, I not only have to take care of my business and its function, but I have to ensure my employees have a safe and financially beneficial place to work. My fiancé and I put in 80+ hours most weeks, and although I wouldn’t have it any other way, sometimes I feel pretty beat down. We closed on Monday, and instead of picnicking and partying with friends and family, I spent the majority of the day in an ill-fitting sundress circa 4 years and 80 pounds ago, doing laundry, scrubbing floors, watching the Pirates game, and eating big with my sweetie and our puppies. And it was fabulous.
I don’t condone blowing people off or being a hermit, but some days you just have to take time to get your life under control. Sometimes you have to be honest – there are things that you want or need to do more than spreading yourself too thin socially – and I promise anyone who is offended will either get over it (or not!), but taking care of you is a pretty huge thing.
Example 3: What am I really Doing Here?
Trail running is my thing. I like it more than road running, it really speaks to me, and I want to thrive at it. So much so that I am registered for a 25k trail race at the end of October that will hopefully qualify me for an ultra that I really want to do in April. Yup, I’ve gone off the deep end, and it’s delightful. However, I’ve gotten a little taste of the comforts of road running over the past couple months. I’ve developed a need for speed, I like hopping on a flat surface and dropping the hammer.
Unfortunately, I’ve taken to doing this for my long slow runs. Instead of hopping on any of the numerous technical trails near me, I’ve been playing it safe on the Rails to Trails. I had planned on doing this for my virtual 10 mile this week but then realized I cannot possibly cheat myself out of another chance to improve my long trail run skills. So I sucked up my pride, and did the right thing… Because every week I put off running the big girl trails, I am that much further away from my goals. Plus I’ve found that nutrition for a long trail run is completely different for me than when I’m road running, so it’s another part of the equation.
Dealing with wet shoes, looking for trail markers, trying to figure out when to run, walk, crawl… It’s a totally different world, and I need to be immersing myself in that. I did the Little Drummer trail for my virtual 10 mile, and it did not go at all as planned. Between getting lost, doing a massive amount of bushwhacking, and leaping over logs, there was no PRs, no reaching goals, just hammering out a long training run. On a side note, Little Drummer is a really neat interpretive hiking trail, and I will definitely add it to my repertoire more frequently, at least in a few months when there isn’t swamp grass up to my ass.
Even though I like running faster, that’s not why I run in general. I do it for the challenge, the adventure, and the opportunity to become closer to nature. It was time for me to be honest with myself and stop taking the easy way out, especially with such a weighted race coming up so quickly. I scrapped most of the road runs from the half marathon training schedule I’ve been following and made an effort to hit the trails for 90% of the work I will be doing in the next month in a half. So while I have to can my pride for a moment and get used to running inconsistently slower miles, I had to stop lying to myself in thinking I could coast my way to Hyner qualification.
Being honest with yourself, be it through admitting when you need to do more (or less!), giving up something that isn’t really good for you no matter what the social repercussion is, or just plain giving yourself a pat on the back for conquering something important to you no matter how long it took you – is definitely a precursor to showing yourself some more love. In keeping with the spirit of Self Love September, I am definitely being more open to that honest inner dialogue.
I want to share some of my favorite posts on the theme of self-honesty: Luminita at the Purpose Fairy has this excellent article about learning to be honest with yourself, and steps that you can take to start honoring your own feelings. Heather at Soulful Spoon just recently published an article about accountability and honesty in the face of recovery. Michele at The Bamboo Project writes about not only health but career related self-honesty, and how sometimes we try and “trick” ourselves into feeling a certain way on a subject instead of being honest and taking steps towards progression.
Do you ever tell yourself little lies or maybe live in denial about what is reasonable or unreasonable for your well being? Please share!