No matter what happens tomorrow, this race signifies a new beginning: 3 yrs since my running life began, over 50 races in the books (6 of which are half marathons) and in spite of the scariness of starting over with someone new to guide me, I never imagined I would be where I am today, so who knows what is in store for the future. I have learned these things:
Never say never…
You can do more than you think you can…
And when things get tough, it helps to have someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself. …March 16, 2015
I do not like change and try to avoid it at all costs. On the flip side, I embrace challenging myself, so I am often caught in the paradoxical world I create for myself. I tackle new projects, new jobs, new foods, I love to try new things and I love adventure. But because I thrive in a challenging environment, there are things in my life that are my anchors. There are things that are dependable, reliable and routine and I need that stability or I can become unraveled at a pretty good pace. I started this blog to share my thinking and learning. A year ago I was forced into a change that still has me wondering and thinking.
Last May as I prepared to run my 7th half marathon in 3 years with a coach and trainer by my side who had worked with me for 4 years, helping me become the runner I am today, my anchor was suddenly pulled and I was sent off on my own to run my race and to figure out how to train and stay fit on my own. My twice weekly strength and conditioning sessions stopped, and that was that. To say that it was psychologically damaging is a bit extreme, but to say that I felt disappointed and took it personally is not extreme. I was fortunate to find my way to s new gym with different training philosophy. But before I could begin to do the work I had to repair my self confidence; and I continue to struggle with trusting other people who I know have my best interest at heart. I do not want to get close enough to anybody who might suddenly decide I am not worth the effort. This is my paradox. Working with a coach requires a lot of trust and a lot of effort ; it is a give and take partnership. Every day I wake up and decide I am going to make the effort. And every day I struggle for a moment because I want to assume positive intentions and so I decide to tuck my cynicism away.
Looking back over the last year that one change has caused a big shift in my outlook toward fitness and life. As I drove back to work after going to the gym today I realized I do not NEED to go to the gym any more. I could stop tomorrow. I used to depend so much on my personal training sessions that I felt incapacitated and out of control when they were canceled or my routine was disrupted. Ironically, the last three months of my personal training sessions last year were actually causing me even more anxiety, so that I was quietly spiraling out of control with no apparent end in site. I was running 100 miles a month but no matter how fast or far I ran I could not outrun a bad situation. No matter how much I lifted or how much I worked out it was not making me a healthier person on the inside.
My writing over the last year reflects how my thinking has changed and how my attitude has changed. I did not accept change without putting up a fight. I am a questioner by nature; I like information and details. I like to be in control of my learning. To be honest there are many things I have embraced and like about my new gym and coach, but there are still things I miss about my former world. The thing I miss the most is being able to share my runs with someone who has the same passion. I do love to race and I do love to talk about all the seemingly insignificant details of every race and every run. But then I think to myself, “I was paying my former coach to be interested.”
In spite of the running thing, I have learned so much and have a much healthier attitude toward fitness. When I realized I do not have the same fitness addiction I had a year ago I felt sad for a moment thinking if I walked away I would not really miss it, but then I realized what a hugely positive thing that is. I DO NOT NEED IT. I feel great about how I feel and my accomplishments and I have my confidence back. I know if I wanted to do something I could do it. I do not need to depend on someone to control my every move. We will see what the next 365 days will bring.