Just a bit of self reflection…

10 Jan

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that I still get that knot in my stomach as my car slowly climbs the hill leading to the gym.  It’s a nervous, excited feeling that I get anytime I do something new or am faced with a decision.  It’s a strangely good yet uncomfortable feeling:  like butterflies exploding followed by a feeling I can only describe as swimming to the surface of water but being jerked back by something.  Anxiety is fun, isn’t it?  It’s a constant battle within myself.  Do I want to take the risk of what could happen?  Will I sink or will I fly?  Oftentimes, the situation results in neither.  Instead, I am gifted an anti-climactic exhale in which I realize I have again made a big fuss about nothing.

I parked my car, climbed all of the stairs, and entered the gym last night.  I could feel my breath get caught in my lungs as I realized that there were NEW PEOPLE there.  New to me anyway.  Did I mention that I get the sinky feeling every time I have to deal with change as well?  Change and choices.  Thank God those aren’t common.  Fun times up in here!

The anxiety-riddled half of my brain is off-set completely by the other ultra-competitive half.  A few of my acquaintances have been talking about working out on social media and I mentioned to a mutual friend that I didn’t think the one girl (I’m not in her fan club, let’s just say that!) would stick with it.  My friend disagreed, stating that the girl in question happens to be a very determined person and once she set her mind to something, she usually achieved it.  I was immediately offended, of course, because who does she think she is prancing around leaving FB statuses peppered with all that determination.

frenemy-somecard

I began 2013 feeling  determined, but ended feeling like I had forfeited along the way; obviously this has left me feeling resentful of other people’s success.  It was now up to me to out determine my so-called “determined” acquaintance because obviously I have to do better than her.  Oh, wait, you mean that’s irrational?  Don’t care.  When I wanted to bolt from the new gym people, my mind flashed to her and I picked my favorite treadmill despite there being 2 people in its circumference.  In your face, Facebook friend.  Bonus: anxiety completely forgotten.

Have you ever had a full conversation or debate with your organs?  A mile into my run, my brain said You did great!  You can totally stop at 1 mile, pat yourself on the back and go home feeling good!  and then my legs said Feeling a little sore, but we can def go another mile…  and then my lungs said We are 100% fine!  We’re not even out of breath!  and so then I’m confused.  My brain is feeling like I want to stop, but the rest of my body wants to keep going.  I kept running, taking a mental step back to inventory the situation.  This is what running is about, really, why I chose it.  There will be times when you are done mentally and times when your body will give out.  But I chose running so that I could challenge that little voice inside of my head when she tries to fill me with doubt.  I am addicted to the feeling I get when I rise above that voice, when I chose not to let my fear of flight keep me from taking off.  So, I kept going.  Really, I kept going because of my silly competitive psyche.  That alone would’ve kept me going.  But, I also kept going because I managed to muster up some mental toughness and shield me from my doubts, uncertainties, and that smug bitch in the back of my head who wants me to fail.

running-pinspiration

This isn’t just a little story about how my competitiveness overrode my anxiety, it’s the story of how my biggest weakness provided me with a goal.  I hope that in 2014, I am able to manufacture more of that.  Determination.  Toughness.  Mental grit.  I can’t think of a better replacement for all the anxiety and doubt that’s bottled up in there now.

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4 Responses to “Just a bit of self reflection…”

  1. afastpacedlife January 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Being tired tends to be more mental than physical.

    Good luck with your running in 2014.

    • SOLEfortheSoul January 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks!! This is the 1st time that I’m actually overcoming it, hopefully I can keep it up!

  2. Chocolate Covered Race Medals January 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    2014 is going to be a great year! I say that as I shut off that little voice in my own head!

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