Life sometimes takes a different path than what you imagine; with careers, with relationships, with running. I just have happened to be going through them all at the same time for the past year. But it is the getting back up after we fall that we learn the toughest lessons. Here are some of the lessons I am learning.
1. I’m not going to get back to my “Old Self” and that’s okay. Sometimes I just wanted things to go back to the way they were before or for me to be the way I used to be. But if I truly dig a little deeper with that thought, the question is “Do I really want to go back to my old self?” Because really, it was me living unconsciously that brought me upon this setback. Relationships don’t fail overnight. Injuries occur over time and overuse. Ignore. Deny. Bury. Numb. Ignoring the symptoms. Denying that it could happen to you. Burying your feelings or the pain. Growing numb to the discomfort or hurt. I was living unconsciously and I don’t want to do that anymore.
2. “When you know better you do better.” I learned this from Oprah. She used to quote Maya Angelou all the time and I just loved this quote. Truth is, I don’t think I want this “Old Self” back. I want ME and who I am right now, flawed, opinionated, a good friend, loving momma, feisty, box jump bruises, broken fibulas and all. These things offer me a chance to grow, to learn, to be a better me. A wiser self.
3. When shit hits the fan, don’t let yourself be splattered. It’s one thing to allow yourself to grieve but it does no one any good to wallow in it. Go turn off the fan or leave the room, for goodness sake. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. It is not enough for me to sit back and wait for “time” to fix things or make things better. There are things I can do along the way to make sure I am setting myself up for success upon my comeback. Things like keeping my body healthy, nurturing it with good food, surrounding myself with friends and family, plenty of rest to tackle the next day, and physical therapy exercises (for those damn broken fibulas). It also allows for new interests to emerge or paying more attention to old interests (ahem, the bike).
4. I am in charge of my own happiness. It is easy to stay in a bitter place. But, why? It does no one any good and it definitely won’t do anything to make you feel better. So, I have had to move from bitter to better, fast. No one wants to be around bitter people. Yuck. I do still yell out the occasional “Stupid Runner!” when I see someone outside running on a beautiful Colorado day. At least I am only silently yelling it these days. That’s something, right?!
5. Give yourself a break. We are our worst critics. My running buddy, Nina and I were talking about this recently on a very slow but lovely 4 miles (I just got cleared to do 3-4 mile runs 2-3 times a week). I was complaining about my weight gain since being in a boot and she was complimenting me on how fit I continued to look. We are totally our own worst critics. But when you mix those negative thoughts with others’ criticisms, you have yourself a toxic toxic combo. I read somewhere that negative comments are 7 times stronger than positive comments. That’s crazy to think that we would have to hear 7 positive things about ourselves before letting go of that 1 negative comment. A silly (and rather embarrassing) thing that I have been doing in the past few months is that whenever I hear a negative comment from someone or even myself, I try to put a positive spin on it. Silly maybe, but it helps me.
So there you have it. I’m turning my setback into a comeback. Running wise, I missed Boston Marathon, Grassland 50K, Colfax Marathon, North Fork 50 Miler, Leadville 50, but there are other races. And although I haven’t run a 5K, 10K and such in years, this Fall it just might be the plan. My strength training continues to improve so that will only help. Career wise, I feel pretty lucky to get to do something that I love and feel passionate about. It is truly amazing that I can have a crummy day but I can meet with a client and help them or laugh it up in between my shouts during bootcamp classes and it can turn the whole day around. Relationship wise, well, I’m hanging in there and doing the best I can. Divorce is tough for everyone, but as long as we continue to parent and make decisions with Noah’s best interest in mind, then we are doing just fine. But in the meantime, I keep going.