Perspective is a good and necessary thing.
Asserting that, knowing that and even reminding our college-aged student leaders of the importance of perspective ALL THE TIME…
It’s still something I fight.
(Note to current OSU students; you are not allowed to throw this little tidbit back in my face the next time I remind you about keeping things in perspective…)
My coaching conversation with Spencer this week wound up being about perspective. I was expressing frustration and concern that I’d had two really rough runs this past weekend. My legs were tired so I was moving sllloooowwww.
BUT tired legs wasn’t the worst of it; the worst part was fighting with my head.
My brain was DONE running for the week and trying to check out with EACH freaking step. I mean that quite literally. I had two long runs — so it was HOURS of fighting with my head. Brutal stuff.
I was really frustrated with myself. I was also questioning whether I had genuinely given things 100% effort. I didn’t feel like I had finished the 3-week training cycle strong; which is what I always aim for… Had I wasted an opportunity somehow? Had I screwed things up?
Spencer listened. Then reminded me that the only way the training time would have been ‘wasted/lost’ would have been if I had quit, given up.
I had NOT quit.
With a little time and hindsight, they may have been ugly runs; but I can admit that I really did gut out each run as best I could.
Mental training is very, very much a part of what we’re working on. I know this.
Spencer reassured me that this weekend I WON the battle with my head. Not quitting was very much a win.
The moment I’m in might be crappy, but on the whole, I am making progress and learning and growing.
Spencer asks ‘Could you have done any of this a year ago?’ I answer ‘No. No way.’
It can be a sort of magic at times if I let it creep in. It can elbow doubt or fear or stress to the side…. Perspective, for me at least, reminds me what the balance of life is all about. To be clear we are NOT talking about the negative-emotional-sinkhole of COMPARISON.
A dose of perspective – whether I find it on my own or someone lovingly/gently/bluntly hands it to me – usually brings me some welcomed concoction of balance, a sense of growth and peace of mind.
My friends Wade and Jeff went for a run with me on Sunday.
It was a BIG DEAL for me.
Because the three of us have never run together before. I’ve known both of them for about 9 years. They both were students at OSU.
But more importantly they knew me at my heaviest and know how hard I have worked to get healthy.
Wade was my student worker. He saw the daily struggles of my life as an obese woman first-hand, well before I ever dreamed of embarking on this journey to reclaim my life. He has been a constant support and isn’t afraid to be honest with me – even about the tough stuff. I talk to/text him almost daily.
Jeff is not only my colleague currently, but one of my closest friends and stalwart running companions. Jeff’s job is to bail us out when I accidentally lead us headfirst into trouble. He’s had a lot of practice. 🙂
Both of these dudes are very important in my life. And they’re good friends as well.
We finally got organized and left the car and took off down a narrow path to grab the loop around Silver Falls State Park.
We first chatted about Wade’s genuine fear of heights as we were hugging a rock cliff and holding a wobbly fence railing over the ravine to get down to the falls. It wasn’t so much chatting as Wade loudly reminding me ‘I DO NOT LIKE HEIGHTS BETSY HARTLEY’. 🙂
But then we got to some rolling single-track near the water…
After some perfunctory and good-natured harassing of each others outfits, habits, and skills…
“I remember when you used to walk into your office from your car in the morning and you would flop down in the bean bag chair and say ‘I’m exhausted already!'”
Wade then asks me if I remember that…
It’s really embarrassing to look back on the habits of the ‘old me’.
The sweaty, hot, lazy, exhausted, sick me… Especially in those days where I knew I had a problem and was unwilling to do anything about it.
I could try to deny it or hide it from most folks, but I can’t really be embarrassed about the ‘old me’ with these two; they’ve seen the entire journey…
From 392 pounds to now.
They’ve trained for events with me. They have both gotten endless calls and texts about food/weight/running/crazy-ass ideas/mental exhaustion/goal setting/setbacks/successes/doctor reports/triumphs.
They’ve both stuck with me through the whole thing.
And here we were…
So about 3 miles in on the run I couldn’t seem to settle down and enjoy the run, but I finally decided to wrap my brain around and embrace some positive perspective.
I was in some of the most beautiful country around.
I was running BEHIND incredible waterfalls in green, lush forests.
I was no longer a T2 diabetic.
I was at a healthy weight and holding it steady for over a year.
I have friends willing to get up at crack o’ dawn and go run on dirt/mud with me.
I was with two great friends who know my story and my struggles and LOVE me anyway.
NONE of us ever really thought we might all be able to run together… But we were.
It’s all about perspective.