Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Moving Mountains and Knocking Down Walls

Before I started running I really didn't understand what people mean when they say the "hit a wall". I totally get it now.

Recently I hit a pretty big wall with my running

A few walls, actually.

The first one was that I was just not getting myself to run 4 miles. Every time I'd think about it I would feel totally overwhelmed and not do it. I kept thinking it was too much, too hard, too fast. I was getting to the point where I was doubting myself on short runs.

I was getting really discouraged. I felt like this wall was never going to go away.

Then I realized it wasn't a wall, it was a mountain.

There is a song I love called "Only a Mountain" that I kept thinking about.
A part of the song that I love is in the chorus:
This is only a mountain, you don't have to find your way around it. Tell it to move, it will move. Tell it to fall, it will fall. This is only a moment, you don't have to let your fear control it. Tell it to move, it will move. Tell it to fall, it will fall.

(Here is the link to the song with lyrics if you want to hear it. Worth the three minutes.)

I decided to tell my wall, no, my mountain to move last week and... it did!

I ran 4.4 miles without stopping! It was amazing!

I decided if I could do that then I could certainly run the next little over a mile and a half to a 10k. I figured I should just keep up the momentum so another wall didn't go up.

But, I had another wall/mountain to knock down.

The other day I was running and feeling great and I caught a glimpse of myself in a store mirror.


1. I am SLOW and I look like it. As Sam teasingly told me a few weeks ago, I run like Velma on Scooby Doo. (Don't worry, he ran like Shaggy after he said that to make up for teasing me.)

2. I have a super red face when I run and it stays that way for an hour afterwards. I mean, super red. Even if I feel fine my face looks like I may die right there.

3. My belly flab ripples, yes, RIPPLES while I run! I mean, if you slowed me down (as if you could get me to go slower, hee hee) and played "Chariots of Fire" while I ran, you would see a hauntingly beautiful poetry in the motion of my belly ocean.

I was pretty horrified.

Then I was bummed! I have been working hard for months now! True, I haven't lost a single pound (which hasn't been my primary goal but sure would be lovely), but I have lost about 3 or so inches from my waist (haven't measured other places but I bet I have lost inches there too based on how my clothes are starting to fit again). I've checked my bmi and I am on the high side of the healthy weight for my height. True, I'd rather be at least in the middle or even the low side of it and I really do want to fit into my old clothes again, but... BUT... I had a baby 4 months ago! My logical self knows I should have belly flubber still but my self conscious side is really upset about it.

That right there was a huge mountain.

I started thinking of how people driving past me when I run must get a kick out of my Winnie the Pooh belly stumbling down the road all the time. They probably all fit into their clothes perfectly and look awesome when they run instead of slow and tired and very Velma-esque like me. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that everyone was laughing at me!

Then I remembered something I've learned recently in a class I'm taking.
That voice that tells me I can't do it or I'm not good enough or that I don't deserve to feel happy or that everyone is laughing at me is a LIAR.

Okay, let's be honest. Some people (you know, people who don't like me or who don't like running or who are just mean people) *might* make fun of me in their heads or even out loud when they drive past me huffing and puffing away. Of course, the key there is that THEY are sitting there driving and I'm out running and working hard for a goal. The reality is I'm doing something hard and they aren't. As I recently read somewhere, "A tiger doesn't mind the opinions of sheep." Let 'em mock, I'm out there running for me, not them!

I'm finding running is less a physical battle and truly more a mental all out war.
I fight with my legs that want to stop.
I fight with my brain that wants to stop.
I fight insecurities.
I fight exhaustion.

But, the thing is, I keep winning. That is pretty incredible to me.

I am a work in progress, both physically and mentally. This is not my final draft. I won't quit because others can't see what I am becoming and I can't let my imagined (whether accurate or not) ideas on their opinions of me rule my life.

So, I told my mountain to move.
It didn't actually go away as you can see. I figured I couldn't bippity boppety boo it away (though that would be nice. Besides, the real mountain is in my head and not around my midsection.

Hello flubber! (Don't worry, I am going to learn to love the chub until it goes away again. Time is on my side.)

I felt better, but didn't feel like I'd really moved any mountains or knocked down the wall all the way.

But, then, Sunday happened.

I woke up and decided to run.
I had no idea how far until I started.
I just knew I had big plans that day. So I ran and ran and ran.

I ran a 10k! Yep, 6.2 miles, all run! I did it! Check that off the bucket list!
(I did give myself a safety net. I ran only on streets where I have friends who I know will pick me up and carry me home if I fall down and am too tired to run. Except on Main Street. They would leave me there to die if I dropped on that street. They don't have time for that! I run there last to give myself the juice to finish what I start so I can go home.)

It was the best feeling to run that 10k. I was so proud of myself. 4 months after having a baby, 29 (plus 5) years of never being a runner, 1 month after I ran a 5k for the first time in my life and I ran a 10k and LOVED IT! What a satisfying experience!

Then I went to church and my day got even better.

One of my friends came and told me she has decided to walk the 5k I am organizing. I am so excited. She and I have talked about it before and this is a huge thing for her. I told her a few weeks ago if she will walk a 5k I will throw her a party and I mean it. I am thrilled for her.

I talked to another friend and she told me she saw me running 4 weeks after I had Henry and you know what? She didn't tell me how funny I look when I run or how slow I am or anything like that. She said, "I hate people who can just get out there and run after that." (In sarcastic girl talk that is a compliment!) Then she told me she is running (she has always been athletic and rocks at  running) and she has lost a ton of inches! This really made me happy!

I realized something. I'm the only person in my way right now. I truly am not running any race or competing in any way with anyone. We're all just out here doing things that are hard for us. They are all different, but equal. Sometimes people will make fun of us, but let's face it, those people are just mean and petty and we should feel bad for people like that.( I hope this goes without saying, but we should try really hard to NOT be those people to others. I know I need to always keep that in mind.) Most of the time people are wishing they could do what we are doing or, better yet, cheering us on. Or, even better, they decide to do something hard too!

We need to remember these things when we get self conscious or discouraged. The only person we are really ever competing with is ourselves. That is hard enough. We shouldn't makes things even more difficult by trying to compete with someone else. We also shouldn't assume people are trying to compete with us. If they are, well, they have a right to make their lives harder. Doesn't mean we have to do the same. We have to tell that mental mountain to fall!

This week, my mountains totally moved.
This is the face of a crunchy, thrifty, piano teaching, home schooling, cloth diapering (most of the time), babywearing, produce loving, slightly uncoordinated but fiercely determined MOTHER RUNNER.

Who can now run a 10k and not die.

Oh, and I look adorable in a wide headband too.

Go knock over some mountains and walls this week.


  1. Dude I LOVE this post. You are an awesome mountain knocker-over.

  2. LOVE IT!! I am really going to try this hole thing out. My health will thank me for it! I will try and keep you posted. But you will definitely be in my thoughts!! YOU GO Hippie Girl! :)