Every once in a while, something will come out of my brain that truly stuns me.
This morning one of those deep thoughts came to the surface during a Facebook conversation with my mentor of more than 30 years.
Over the past few years, he's been my running coach (sorry that I didn't run while in college, coach!) and general sounding board when I bitch about my perceived lack of progress. He's one of the rare people in the world everyone needs to have: a person who gives you honesty when you don't want to hear it (but NEED to), who pushes you out of your comfort zone, and seems to have more belief and faith in you than you can ever imagine having for yourself.
Today's topic was about keeping a close eye on my workout efforts. I'm still coming back from my latest go-round with tendonitis. It happens more than I'd like and it frustrates the hell out of me. But, I'm working on being more attuned to my body's signals.
During my morning check-in, my coach gave me a suggestion of working my way back to pre-injury form through 10% improvements on my Strava score. It's sensible and reasonable.
Yet, he knows I'm not sensible and reasonable.
And...that's what leads me to injury. Every. Damn. Time.
Here's what usually happens:
Clearly, there's a disconnect between step 2 and step 3.
During today's chat, I admitted to him that 99% of the time, I take his suggestions seriously, but wind up straying from them "in my desire to improve faster and impress my coach." I also said I'm working hard on trying to be more patient, listening more to him and my body and working toward a healthier mindset regarding my desire to push harder.
I try to be honest about my shortcomings. Besides, he can see through my bullshit despite hundreds of miles and a computer screen between us. He has far too much experience with my crap for me to try anything but the truth.
His response was brilliant:
"It's important to find the line between 'I can do this!' and "Why did I do that?'"
I joked that I too often find myself looking over my shoulder and seeing that I crossed the line into "Why did I do that?"
He commented that my tendency to do that might be a result of his coaching.
And this is when a truth bomb snuck out of my brain:
"You push me," I said. "That's what your role is and that's what I need. You are not responsible for the choices I make because of my own desire to overcompensate due to my perception of lost time and trying to make up for it."
I just sat and looked at the screen for a moment.
Where did that come from?
It has stuck with me the rest of the day.
I feel like I've lost out on so many years of healthy living.
That sense of missing out has propelled me to not just go out of my comfort zone (in a safe way that my coach advocates) but also to push myself to the point of injury.
Yes, athletes get hurt during training. But this is a pattern with me and for the first time, I'm grasping this relentless, sometimes senseless drive that keeps me hobbling along.
Sort of ironic in an Alanis Morissette way. Actually, it might be a true form of irony. Even as an English degree holder, the whole irony debate messes with my head.
I want to improve so much that I do things that force me to slow down due to injury. And I wonder why I'm not moving forward in a way that satisfies me?
These are the discoveries that will make a lasting impact and affect "the long game" as coach likes to say.
And you can't rush these discoveries. They aren't in the past. They aren't in the future. Those comparisons can lead to poor choices.
Focus on the now and what we can do to improve just a little bit in the next day or week. Have faith in the process, the people who support you, and even yourself.
You can't make up for lost time by trying to recapture it. You can only make the best of where you're at right now and recognize the progress you're making.
It certainly will hurt a lot less in the long run. At least I hope so. My foot is counting on it.
I'm Marie. I'm working toward a 200 lb. weight loss goal. I'm doing it with baby steps. Follow my journey here.