The title sounds so dramatic! My world has been turned upside down… But that is how I am feeling. Here is the thing, though, I needed my world to be turned upside down.
Today started out like any other day, nothing out of the ordinary. Well, that isn’t so true. Sightly out of the ordinary was a planned run with my running coach. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to it like I normally would be, I wasn’t really sure why. Especially because I have an AMAZING running coach! Beth is supportive, she is challenging, she is intuitive, and just genuinely nice. Everything I need to be successful!
We met for our run and had our typical conversations and then we went where I have been pretending didn’t exist. We started talking about my why, why was I running, why did I want to continue to run? She mentioned she was getting the feeling I was running for the rush of racing because I just keep adding race after race to my schedule. It looked to her as though I wasn’t running for the run itself. And you know what, she was so right!
I have known this since December, maybe even earlier that my love for running was just not there. I told myself it was my anxiety and the side effects of the medication I was on. I wasn’t getting out of running what I had been. I knew deep down I still loved it but I wasn’t enjoying it, it was a chore. I just didn’t know why. Enter Beth! She pointed out, I have been approaching running the same way I had been when I started running in 2013. When I started running, I was still in weight loss mode. I was running to help me lose weight not so much because I loved it or really even wanted to. I would register for a race because having that event to train for is what got my out the door and running.
A lot has changed over time, I now really love running (and until recently enjoyed going out for a run). I know I like the way running makes me feel, I love the people it has brought into my life, I love the challenges it has presented me, and most importantly I love how it has changed me for the better.
So why was my world turned upside down? Because I have to change my approach to running and that is changing how I think about myself. And as much as I hate admitting it, I don’t want others to look at me differently. That sounds weird I know, but you see, when you have gone from a sedentary, overweight lifestyle to the lifestyle I live now you have a lot of people watching you. Some people are there cheering you on and hoping you succeed, some are hoping you fail and revert back to your old ways, and others see you as an inspiration or motivation. I am worried about the last two groups. I feel like the haters are going to think I am giving in and going back to the old lifestyle (I know I shouldn’t feel this way but I do). But even more concerning to me is that I am worried I am going to let those people who look to me for motivation or inspiration down.
As much as I am worried about changing my approach and my view of myself, I know it needs to happen in order for me to be happy. So how am I going to change my approach? I am going to stop (for the immediate future) focusing on running races. That doesn’t mean I won’t run races but if I do I will approach them much differently. I am going to start focusing on the run itself and the joy it brings me. Running isn’t always roses and rainbows, so there are always going to be days that I don’t want to get out there and run. However, I am going to focus on getting myself out there even when that happens because I love it and what it brings me.
I always talk about how I love a challenge because I like the change that it brings. Here the thing though, I am terrible at a challenge when it involves changing something I have been doing for a long time. So this quite possibly could be the biggest challenge I have ahead of me. But I am so up for the challenge! I need this challenge!
I feel really bad for Beth, she had to deal with me crying for half our time together today. But I am so happy, she brought it up because I needed to get it out. (See just another great reason to hire a running coach.) Now that I know what has been bothering me, I can work at making it better! Starting today, I am going to run because I want to, not because I have to train for a race.
Wow this got way longer than I planned! However, between Beth asking me why am I running and challenging me to think about it and me writing about what I have been feeling, I feel so much better and even excited for my fresh start!
So a huge thank you to Beth for starting the conversation that I should have had with myself a while ago!