Let’s talk about self-compassion and meeting yourself where you are. Right here, right now. Today.
Have you ever started something, or picked something back up after a hiatus and been frustrated with where you are?
Last spring, I was training for a half marathon that was supposed to happen in May, but for obvious reasons (i.e. COVID), that half-marathon didn’t happen. I swore I’d keep up with my training and run it on my own, but then I hurt my hamstring.
So, my running consistency went out the window.
I used to be an avid triathlete, and I’ve done 4 or 5 half-Ironman races. My fastest time over the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run was 5 hours, 28 minutes and some-odd seconds, which is pretty good for an age-grouper. I typically finished in the top 15 in my age group on the bike leg, which was my strongest sport of the three, and in the top 25-30 overall.
But, as it has a tendency to do, life happened. I went through a tough time with my divorce. I no longer had time or energy to put into that much training. I’m kicking myself because I had built that fitness and endurance up over a few years, and now I’m pretty much back to square one.
To be honest, I’ve had the itch to get back to the tri world. I still feel like I’d like to do a full Ironman someday. When I was in the thick of racing, people would say “oh, I could never do that”. And I’d say “of course you can. You just have to want to”.
People would look at me and say back, “no, I really could never do that. I’m too _____”. I’m too out of shape. I’m too heavy. I’m too old. I’m too busy.
All the excuses.
Related: 12 Tips To Self-Love And Compassion
Why is that? Why do people not believe in themselves? Why do they make excuses for why they can’t do something?
The excuses are fear.
Do you know the other thing that happens?
People bite off more than they can chew.
On a whim, they decide they’re going to do X, but they expect to just do X and not work for it. When they can’t just do X, they feel like they suck. They feel inadequate and unworthy – like they are not enough.
So I did a crazy thing this week.
After a couple of glasses of wine, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for the virtual Baltimore half-marathon, which “takes place” on (or before) October 17th.
I’m also a personal trainer, and love coming up with new training programs, so I sat down to create a training schedule for this race. October seemed so far away, and it didn’t occur to me until this moment that I only have about a month to get ready for this race.
And lately, running has felt like so much effort. I am about 15 pounds heavier than I’d like to be. Even though I’m strong and athletic, I’m out of shape for running endurance-wise. And I’m not getting any younger. When I run, I seriously feel like I am running with bricks on my feet.
So my inner mean girl starts saying all this stuff to me…. You suck at this. You shouldn’t even try. This is ridiculous. You should have never stopped running. You’ll never get back into shape. You’re so SLOW.
I know you’re familiar with the inner mean girl. I know you are.
She’s not very nice.
Well, I have some of my best thoughts and ideas when I am running. Here’s one for my inner mean girl: