isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mantra Monday: I Am Me.

Mantra MondayFor a while there I got pretty down on myself.

I compared myself to other people.

When other people would reach milestones, I'd think, "Why isn't that me?"

Why am I not faster?

Why am I so slow?

How can other people just begin running for the first time ever in their lives and come out running 8 minute miles? Why is it taking me so long to get faster? Maybe I'm not cut out for this. I should just be one with it that I'm not that fast. And probably never will be.

The self-doubt seeps into my consciousness so easily.

I'd run in a group and be the last one in. Even though it was actually a faster run for me than usual.

Instead of being proud of myself, I'd be frustrated where I came in with regard to the rest of the group.

And a little embarrassed, frankly.

And maybe even just want to throw in the towel halfway through the run as the distance grew longer between me and the rest of the runners.

Over the weekend I read Katy Widrick's post and this post by Sarah at Domestically Challenged and both of them inspired me. In fact, when I read this line in particular by Katy, it struck a particularly vulnerable chord with me at a particularly sensitive time:

I will not:
Be angry with myself that I can’t run faster, further, better, stronger…

I will:
Be thankful that I have been injury-free this season, have friends and family that will cheer me on regardless of time or distance, and appreciate the unparalleled feeling of pushing my body to its limits.
I realized (again) that comparing myself to other people is never ever the answer.

I remembered (again) that there will always be someone faster and stronger than me. And that should never come as a surprise, actually, because there will only ever be ONE "best in the world" in anything and even that is fleeting until the next person comes along.

As Sarah asks in her post, where is my self-compassion?

How do I come this far in my own life and forget the very point from which I started? Nearly 60 pounds overweight, a size 16-18, unable to run 30 seconds much less a mile, never having been on a bike, never having swum, never having raced.

How is it that I can forget all that when someone passes me on a run?

How is thinking this way being fair to myself?

When will I ever be happy and what will be the one thing that finally validates me?

Because I always feel like I'm chasing.

Chasing happiness, chasing validation, chasing other people.

Chasing chasing chasing.

And just getting winded and frustrated doing it.

But the truth is, I am me.

I need look no further for validation and happiness than myself. Which means in theory, I can stop chasing. (And stop getting winded.)

Because I run how I run and I try to run hard but it is what it is but the point is that I even run at all.

And I'm not saying that just being out there is "good enough" because "good enough" is never "good enough" for me and never has been. But that's who I am too.

That's what makes me want to be faster. That's what drives me. There is only one "good enough" and that is the kind where I tried my ass off and gave it everything I had.

However slow I run, I run with drive, with passion and with fire.

It may look like walking but it feels like running to me and it's longer and faster than *I* personally, have ever run. Ever.

It is my run.

It is my ride.

It is my swim.

My life.

My body.

The point is that to get better, faster and stronger in anything, I have to start embracing ME. Who I am. Not who all those other runners are and what brought them to that place. Or even women for that matter.

But who I am and what brought ME to that place.

I have to stop chasing other people's anything and sit back and be comfortable with my own everything. Stretch my own limits.

Own my own strength. My own fire. My own run with its breathing, its legs, its music, its dance.

Stop analyzing what I'm doing wrong and celebrate what I'm doing right.

Because I am me.

It is soooo time to stop comparing myself to other people. I am long overdue for some self-respect. For some mad props, yo.

Nope. I don't have her metabolism (good or bad), her speed (fast or slow), her body-type-hair-color-happiness-unhappiness-house-family-drive-legs-lungs-whatever.

I have my own.

It is what makes me me and in a sea of race numbers, that is everything.

When I'm crossing a finish line in anything I do, there is only one "me" in the picture and it doesn't matter who I passed and who I didn't. The picture doesn't show that part.

It just shows whether or not my arms are way up in the air in victory when I do it.

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My Favorite Quotes

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby

I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

"I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist." - Jack London

Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go.

"Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History."- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Live life PASSIONATELY, laugh OUT LOUD, love UNCONDITIONALLY. - from my spoon rest.

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." - Ferdinand Foch