Per my new usual, every aspect of my life seemed to have the same theme this week.
This week’s theme :: Cut yourself some slack, woman!
It’s no secret that I’ve been a little frustrated with my advanced marathon training. Okay, that’s an understatement. Since last week, I’ve been beating myself up for struggling on runs and for trying to stay with the group instead of running my pace. I said that I would wise up and start running for me, but all I could think on Tuesday was, “Why am I getting up at 4:45 a.m. to run by myself?” It didn’t help that the wind chill was 10. (Yes, really.)
On top of this, I haven’t been sticking with the other aspects of training that I told myself I would incorporate back into my routine this season — core yoga at least twice a week, bi-weekly sports massage, and regular A.R.T. treatments. If I’m not even doing in this the first few weeks of training, how can I expect to do it once the mileage really picks up? What was I thinking? Why did I take on this crazy challenge?
Also this week, in my work life, I had the privilege of meeting with 40+ other female attorneys, all of whom were taking time out of their busy work days and personal lives to help organize a luncheon, a 5k race, and various other fundraising events for AVANCE, a local charity that provides support and educational services to at-risk families. Before our monthly meeting begins, we always go around the room to introduce ourselves and share a fun fact. This month’s fun fact was to share a word that embodies our “purpose” for 2011. The idea being that resolutions are easily broken, but this word can stay with you, at the forefront of your mind, for the entire year. Sound familiar? Apparently, my view on resolutions wasn’t so novel. I love it when life just clicks.
What amazed me about this process wasn’t the words they shared (though all were moving and inspiring), it was how many women began their explanation with a remark about having already “broken” their New Years’ resolutions. As you might expect, these are incredibly driven and accomplished women. Yet, time after time, I heard them say they’d already thrown in the towel on their original “resolution” . . . just like I kept threatening to do with my advanced marathon training.
Why are we so quick to give up at the first missed step?
Why does the first sign of failure make even the smartest of women ready to give up?
Why do I insist on trying to be Superwoman?
Last night, I took some quiet time to read. I started by catching up on one of my favorite blogs: Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers. I was way behind, so I started with her December 17th entry, Try Easy. I won’t repeat her words here; she says them better than I could anyway. But, I couldn’t shake the idea that I needed to try easy. I must cut myself some slack and stop trying so damn hard.
This morning, I promised myself (and my uber-supportive husband) that I would take it easy on my run. I didn’t fret about where everyone else was or what pace they were running. I used the first two miles to warm-up, instead of charging up the hills while my legs were still cold. Then, I picked up the pace to where it was comfortable. Guess what . . . My overall average pace was only 10 seconds slower than Tuesday, but my HR stayed in the right zone (around 75% as opposed to 85-90%) for the entire run. Fancy that!
What if I could try easy at work? Try not beating myself up for not being able to juggle five million balls at once. Try taking each project one at a time and doing my best work, instead of trying to do more than should ever be squeezed into one day.
What if I could try easy at home? Try not beating myself up for not being the ‘perfect’ wife, as if there is such a thing. Try being thankful for the little happy moments and not always worrying about the past or the future.
If it worked so well in my run, who knows!
Lesson Learned :: I am officially cutting myself some slack.
. . . and calling my massage therapist. 😉