I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘negativity’

What I learned from marathon training 

Negativity is bad. Like, really, really bad. 

Not the kind of bad that lets you know up front that it is bad, like tickets to a Browns game or a $25 sandwich at the airport terminal. It’s the insidious kind that pretends to be on your side, like shots of tequila giving you ‘courage’ before you end up falling on your face. 

Negativity would show up to my training sessions handsomely dressed as Realism or Caution. It wouldn’t say to me, “Joan, you can’t finish” or “Joan, why are you doing this.” It would say, “Be careful or you won’t hit your pace!” “Don’t expect a good training day because you haven’t been perfect with your diet!” I would find myself going faster than I needed to in the beginning of runs because of fear and inevitably end up tired in the middle, thus affirming my negative thoughts before I caught on to what was happening.

The only effective method I have for combating Negativity is to simply keep showing up. I will admit that there were times over the last 16 weeks where I allowed it to beat me, but overall, I believe I won. I will not be able to confirm my victory until tomorrow at about 1 PM EST, but for all the times I felt like giving up, fearing that I am unworthy of the starting line of a marathon, there were many more that I fought through and finished. 

Let’s hope that the 15 pounds I’ve gained are pure courage. 

Just Another Day.

47 days to go.

I went to bed last night with a plan to complete both my bike and my run before I had to go to work. While I woke up on time, I felt pretty blah. Not just physically, but mentally. One of the great things about triathlon is that if I don’t feel like running today, I can do tomorrow’s swim and I often will feel up to running the next day. At the moment, the only thing I wanted to do was curl up in bed until I absolutely had to awaken. I made myself get up and do my run.

Whatever.

Yes, I’m glad I did it, but I’m not giving myself any accolades. I’m training for a race. I’m supposed to run. I’m trying to maintain/lose weight. I’m supposed to get out of bed to work out even when I don’t feel like it. As I was running, all I could think about was how I’m gonna have to keep doing this for the rest of my life and how age will bring about even less desirable results. I thought of something I’d seen recently –

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You know what I felt when I read that? Envy. I am envious of the person who can both acknowledge her progress and be pleased with where she is at the moment, despite where others may be. Just speaking of my physical progress, I am self-aware enough to recognize the place from which I’ve come. I started at 200 pounds last January, not even able to run a mile. I was bitching to myself this morning doing 400s, thinking to myself that my sprint is someone’s recovery day. I am not listing my pace only because I would hate for anyone not as fast as I am (logically, this person must exist) to read this and feel discouraged. I’ve registered for a Half-Ironman and it’s not implausible that I will complete it. That’s pretty significant progress.

Whatever.

I couldn’t help but think of the tragic death of Robin Williams yesterday. He has been making me laugh since I was a Girl J. Just last week, I was watching his special Weapons of Self-Destruction with a new appreciation for his brilliance and his willingness to put himself out there so honestly. I think of his great success, the love he seemed to have in his life from his close family, and it breaks my heart to think of how lonely and desperate he must have felt to take his own life despite his circumstance.

As the news broke last night, a recurring theme emerged quickly. “If you’re feeling depressed, talk to someone. Reach out. Know you are loved.” Sigh. When depression sets in, knowledge is NOT power. In a strange twist, the awareness of all the good in one’s life can play into feeling guilty for being depressed. Depression multiplies.

I consider:

– I come from – and have – two incredibly loving, still married parents,
– I have a full time job in the field for which I received formal training,
– I have no major health concerns,
– There are many people in my life whom I would call friend – and actually mean it, and
– There’s no reason for me to expect that any of the above will change any time soon.

Moreover, I’m Christian, which means I don’t even (read: shouldn’t even) put the most stock in the things I listed. My trust is not in Wells Fargo, y’all. And for the bonus round, I’m what many would consider physically attractive, and let’s be real, the world is kinder to prettier faces. Yet I was thinking to myself this morning that it would make sense to spend the day in bed. There’s someone who can do everything that I do better. I am never going to be everything that I can be.

THIS. This is why it’s so difficult to share these feelings with others. You see the blessings around you and you can hear the responses of your loved ones before they even open their mouths. “Don’t you realize all that you have? How many people would love to be where you are?” So you just keep your mouth shut and smile and laugh. Anything to get through the rest of the day. Just – another day.

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