Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Resolution Review: Strength

For those who want to remember what I challenged myself to work on, here is the link. (See all of this? Just click it."

As I look back on what I gave myself, I mostly feel really good about it. In some aspects, I far exceeded my expectations of what I was capable of. I mean, I was hoping I could just run a 5k without walking and here I went and pulled off a treadmill 13.1. That was really exciting for me.

But, then, I struggled in other spots. We didn't get as much accomplished in preparedness as I had hoped, and we're actually pretty good at preparedness. Yes, we found our trouble spots and we have a plan to fix them, but I wish we didn't have them at all.

Of course, before I beat myself up too much, I remember the other big part of the resolution: not beating myself up for being weak sometimes. That has been challenging because it is easy to just beat yourself up when you feel like you failed, or at least didn't live up to what you had hoped for.

However, I think I got better at that this year. Sam and I both worked on this. One of the big things we both let go of is forcing ourselves or guilting each other into going places or dealing with social situations that just don't have a positive benefit overall. It was nice to finally tell each other that it was okay to not want to go to that gathering and on top of that, we wouldn't hold a grudge if one of us didn't go. It was nice telling ourselves that too. It was great to be able to back away from people or groups that may be full of good people, but not people who were good for us and not feel badly about it. We even got better at saying, "no". Now we need to work on not feeling like we need to explain our "no", but baby steps.

One thing that hung me up a lot was remembering to stop comparing myself to others. I think running has helped me with that. I am slow. I mean, really slow. I have been getting faster, but I'm just not going to be a speedy runner. It was kind of hard to feel so proud of myself after running that birthday 10k and then realizing I was barely not the last person to finish. I spent a few days rationalizing my super slow running skills. "They are all more competitive," or, "their legs are longer," or, "I stuck with my family at first and it slowed me down," blah blah blah. The fact is, I ran my race at my pace and I did what I set out to do and I did GREAT. Who cares how other people did? I mean, yay for them, but they ran their own race and I ran mine and I will not let a silly competitive voice in the back of my head ruin a perfect day. That is an example of a moment this year that I'm proud of. Seeing myself start down that vicious cycle of trying to compare myself, catching it and stopping, then being happy for myself and for others. Much better way to live.

So, overall, I'm pretty happy with how my resolution went. I made strides and in many places I went much farther than I had dreamed. I found places where I could be more forgiving on myself, yet challenge myself to improve. I had that baby (with the assistance of tons of drugs) and I came out of it... well, alive, which was a huge bonus, but also very happy.

Today is a good day.
This year has been a good year.

As I read on a running blog I love to read, "I am stronger than I thought I was."

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