So I've been motivated by my best buddy Bex (say that 5 times fast) to really put it all out there. I've had the refreshing realization recently (seriously...what is with me) that there are perceptions that other people hold of me that simply aren't true (shocker, I know). But in this case these perceptions led to lots of hurt feelings and bruised egos (well, mine anyway). I finally realized that there really aren't many people that truly know me...the me I hide most of the time...the me that cries at the end of a marathon or screams and cusses during a long bike ride...the me in my head that yells negativity so loud it's all I can do to squelch the voice and push on. I was told by a good friend that people see me as tough...and someone who doesn't give up easily...and I was really thrown for a loop. I guess I never really stopped to think about the perception others have of me. I can almost count on one hand those who have seen me in that dark place...my husband, my mother, my best friend (Bex) and her husband (Jason), Alli (who has trained with me and finished a marathon with me and also survived nursing school and our new job with me), and Jessica (the girl responsible for training me for my first marathon and running 2 of them with me and another nursing school survivor)...that's really it. Maybe there are more but honestly not many. Only these people have seen the me that dwells inside the tough exterior. The me that begins to cry, cuss, bitch, moan, make excuses...and lots of other lovely things when pushed beyond the comfortable boundaries I have set for myself. The me that gives up if the day doesn't pan out right for a workout...who instead turns to comfort instead of trying to make a new plan (for some reason I can think of plan B when racing, but not training). If others really know how much I have given up in my own head millions of times, they might be shocked.
It's a funny thing really...as I know that I have accomplished a lot...but my bigger accomplishments have been at shorter distances. It seems I can shut off my brain long enough to leave it all out there for a sprint or Olympic distance race, or a half marathon even...but put me out there longer and the demons begin to surface...and they aren't pretty. They first begin to whisper to me that I'm slow...so, so very slow...that others are passing me and I don't have a prayer to catch up to them...that I'm being left behind. They they taunt me louder that I don't have enough training...I didn't swim enough...I didn't bike enough...I didn't ride enough...I have too little sleep...too much on my plate to take this on...just give up now because it will be easier. Eventually as I try to ignore them...they shout...you are bonking...you have nothing left...how will you ever finish...you aren't going to reach your goal...give it up...you are nothing. Yeah...nothing. So there I am...out there alone (or maybe not alone but in my head I am in a totally desolate place)...no one can rescue me here...except me. As the years have gone on I have become more adept at quieting these monsters...but each new challenge brings more players to the table inside my mind...and they have new messages that I have to learn to intercept, rewrite, or trash...and it's a long learning curve.
So there it is...I guess 2011 is about shattering the perceptions that others have of me...and possibly the perceptions I have of myself. This year is about being more real...real about my abilities, my inabilities, my limitors, my strengths...and what I have to really work with. I have the capability to be fast, really fast...but I have to work hard at it. I am not that great at going far...and luckily this year isn't about distance...so when I attempt distance I need to give myself a break and possibly an out ;) I am a great runner, a decent swimmer (though I have let that slide considerably) and an evolving cyclist...but I am not perfect at any of them...and only mildly skilled at putting them together. I have challengies with my nutrition...and those are going to take a long time to iron out...but I am trying. I have a family that needs me...but I also need to have my time so I can be more present and in the moment for them. I have a full time, stressful, night shift job...I adore it with everything I am...but it take ALOT out of me...trying to flip and flop between days and nights leaves me exhausted and unmotivated...lots of work to do there too.
Basically I am a huge work in progress...but aren't we all?? What fun is life without a few challenges? But for tonight I am going to revel in my self imposed day off (sorry Bryan), drink some wine with my bestie and my hubby, make some plans, eat some candy (as I'm swearing it off on Monday) and just enjoy the moment...tomorrow is a new day...and a fantastic two hour trail run to boot...I'm ready to embrace the challenges, jump over the hurdles, and hang on tight...who's with me? :)