As you may have guessed, I really enjoy running and actively promote this fun sport on my blog. I find running an essential gateway into a happier and more healthy lifestyle. With all the benefits I’ve received from my running journey, I still struggle to make this work. There are days, like today, when old demons resurface a wreak havoc on my psyche. Unlike the past, I recognize what they are and have evolved strong, proactive mechanisms to deal with them. Today a simple 3 mile run turned into a difficult battle of wills. After the run, I wrote the following on my Daily Mile account:
What a struggle of a run. Prior to setting off I tore into myself with ridiculous body image issues. It mentally effed up this run from start to finish. I am angry I let myself entertain those thoughts, let alone allowed them to mess up my run. I know it is only running nerves, I get them before every run. More often, this nervous energy is turning into a vicious body image attack. I’m not happy with that and I’m looking for ways to stop this cycle of unwarranted stress. /end of rant
In the past, I would internalize my overly critical assessments; now I know what triggers these thoughts and I use this knowledge to reel me back in to a better frame of mind. Some days I’m better at it than others. You should have seen me the week leading up to my first Triathlon, my thoughts ranged from ditching the race altogether because I looked silly in Tri-Suit to reminding myself that piranha do not live in the Schuylkill river. Despite these thoughts, I managed to complete my first Triathlon. Yay me!
The message I am attempting to communicate to my readers is keeping physically fit and maintaining a healthier lifestyle is so worth the struggle. Everyone, even elites, have to face this struggle in their fitness journey. It is when we are struggling that we learn the most about ourselves and gain valuable experience for whatever faces us in life. Throughout my journey, I have learned to recognize my stress triggers and effectively manage them. This is a skill which transfers into every aspect of my life. A lovely side benefit of exercise.
Honestly, I wish every run came with rainbows and sugar plums, sadly, they do not. Some runs are a breeze, others take everything I have to finish the run. I’ve learned to simply push through; knowing that this will pass and I will be all the stronger for it.
Also, a good public rant is so cathartic during these times. I’m stepping off my soap box feeling a thousand times better and looking forward to my next half marathon this coming Sunday.
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