Funny story. Well not the kind that will have you peeing your pants funny.
But none the less, one that you’ll probably nod along to and go yup, we kinda knew that about you already.
Running is hard.
But that’s not the story here. I mean I CHOOSE running despite the hard. It’s in embracing the hard that I found levels of pride in myself I didn’t know were possible. It was the hard that gave me constantly changing goals. It was the hard that made the rewards so beautiful.
Which is why it’s ironic that I prefer to steer clear of say HIIT sessions with burpees and tuck jumps and other evil movements that are freaking HARD.
Choosing Your Hard
I guess this is where it comes down to choosing your hard.
You could choose to get off the couch and go for a walk though you’ve had a mentally exhausting day at work.
You could choose to down a bottle of wine for that same bad day…week…month…year and stay exactly where you are, no progress, no changes, no endorphins.
You could choose to keep testing new recipes to find out which way you’ll most love vegetables.
You could keep stopping at the drive through because it’s faster, though it’s not helping you feel any better.
It’s hard to push your limits.
It’s hard to wish for something more and yet stay stuck where you are.
Running is the hard I chose. For other people it’s been CrossFit or yoga or swimming or triathlon.
And while some days I feel really bad about my lack of ability to climb stairs without huffing, though I can run for hours…I’ve come to realize that I can’t do it all and I don’t NEED to do it all any more.
Re-framing the Hard
While recovering from knee surgery, I did realize I might need to be open to accepting some of those other hards once in awhile. Not because I have anything to prove, but because they remind me of how far I’ve come in my running and give me new ways to remember that I can do more.
Of course by now we all know that one of the biggest things holding us back is the fear of failure, but why is it so massive?
“When working towards a new goal, we often have a specific picture of success in mind as the “right” outcome. As children we never started from that angle and thus it wasn’t failure when we fell while learning to walk; we simply needed to learn something else to make it work.”
Failing is a lesson to teach us what not to do on the next go round.
It’s something we’ve often heard, but I feel like we can’t be reminded often enough that perfection isn’t the name of the game and most people aren’t super stars at what they do straight out of the womb. I realized that while I haven’t seen the progress I want in my speed, I have been testing out new workouts and seeking answers…so I’m not failing, I’m LEARNING.
And though we live in a world of INSTA sharing and what feels like INSTA success…that’s not what’s really happening.
At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.
Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.
One of the techniques that has helped me over the years is from Tavis Smiley and it’s the idea of failing up.
Great so how can we put failure in life as a positive part of our experience?
EXAMPLE: Running Group
A major fear I often hear is “I want to join a running group, but I’m afraid no one will talk to me or I’ll be to slow”
Worst that could happen
You show up, no one talks to you and you run alone.
— Since you were planning to run alone before you showed up, you really haven’ lost or gained anything.
Ok it sucked that no one talked to you, but did you talk to anyone? The next week you go back and this time see someone you remember from the week before so you say “Hey, I’m Jane. I was here last week but so nervous I didn’t really meet anyone.” Unless you have stumbled upon the world’s rudest runner, you’ll get a friendly hello and likely some introductions to others in the group.
Example: Tough Training
You hit the point in training where you are exhausted, your paces are static, you miss a few runs, something starts to hurt. Yup, it’s not the idealized training you had in your head.
Looking at your training, can you pick out things that might have contributed to how your feeling? Are you getting enough recovery, eating well, sleeping well, doing hip exercises? Maybe you are and what you’re really doing is having a moment where your body is catching up to all the work you’ve put in. Not failing, growing.
We often can’t see the lesson right away because of the emotions that these moments can bring.
What’s the Hard you’re choosing?
Is there a hard you’re avoiding?
Other ways to connect with Amanda
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