In today’s economic environment, unfortunately many of you might be able to relate to what I’m about to say. You know how when you are working, and then your company downsizes, and you end up unemployed for a bit — you end up with a gap in your resume. A Gap — Time that is unaccounted for. When you go looking for a new job, recruiters and headhunters advise you to fill in the gap — ie, explain what you were doing with your time. So your future employer doesn’t think you were “doing time somewhere“, instead of spending your time somewhere…..if you catch the difference!! Here in the blog-o-sphere, I’ve got a gap — pretty much the entire month of August — where I didn’t post, didn’t blog, didn’t share. And since it’s Saturday, and Saturday is a rest day from running — I figured I would take the time, accept responsibility, and explain to you, my loyal friends, what I did with those 4 weeks. Fill in my gap. Confess. Here we go….
My last post in July was on July 29th. Right around that time, I was hopping off the treadmill and attempting to take my running back outside. I was inside on the treadmill for, (what seemed like), all good reasons. It was so friggin hot, and I just can’t stand running outside when I feel like I can’t breathe or see past the salty sweat that runs down my forehead into my eyes. Unfortunately what happened next…..was the cause of the gap, the reason I didn’t post again until August 26th — almost 4-1/2 weeks later.
Choosing to shelter myself from the heat by staying inside, lead me to “forget” the feeling of outdoor running. Then when I went back outside, I forgot (again) that I had to work it, work it, to get the feeling back. Instead, I was so focussed on the pace improvements that I saw on the treadmill. Ohhhh, I L.I.K.E.D seeing myself run those intervals at 8.0 mph on the tread. It made me feel….like a Runner. Fast. Bionic. Cool. But then when I stepped outside, and the hills and elevations, and sidewalk cracks, and self propulsion kicked in….my progress evaporated in the summer sun. I felt like all my progress was an illusion, left back upstairs in the spare room on the treadmill. That’s when I made the biggest mistake of all. I believed it. And I let my backslide break my Spirit. That’s an injury akin to a broken bone, or a broken heart. All the words of consolation (from myself and others) only take you so far. A broken Spirit takes time to heal.
Looking back over those 4-1/2 weeks, my 20/20 hindsight helps me learn from my mistakes. In all, time is not a bad thing to offer oneself once in a while. The real benefit (or detriment) of time comes from what you DO with the time; not the time itself. I can openly and honestly admit that I spent 4 weeks having a Pity Party for myself. Moping around. Sad. Negative Self Talking to myself, about how I couldn’t run anymore. Boo Hoo-ing myself. Ugh. None of it was true. It was just a Pity Party, and looking back…it was such a waste.
THIS is my single worst BAD HABIT! Beating myself up. Truth is — if I wanted a break, if I wanted a rest, if I wanted time….I should have just taken it. Without judgement. Just given it to myself like a gift! Blissfully and gratefully accepted it, and allowed it to be restorative. Instead each day of those 4 weeks was an opportuinity to punish myself. To beat myself up for what I wasn’t doing, for what I was eating and should not have been eating, for how long I was sleeping……oh man….if I could find a reason to judge myself for it — I did. I got in my own way, in a big way. I became my own barrier to success. For 4 weeks.
Our family spent 2 weeks of those weeks in California. It was a wonderful vacation, we went to beautiful places. I enjoyed wonderful dinners, and was active every day. I came home with an awesome tan, and lungs full of fresh California salty sea air. Once I was home, I felt ready. I felt renewed. But it was only in the last 4 days, after I exchanged emails with Brian — when I let his words release me from the trap I put myself in. He told me to take the break. To let myself rest when I want a rest. And to work, like hell, when it’s time to work. Those last 4 days in California, I finally let myself sleep in. I walked, and hiked, and swam, and then splurged on a Long Island Iced Tea by the pool — and finally enjoyed all of it. I climbed off my own back…and my spirit felt lighter because of it. Shocking, right? Seems obvious, but somehow in the moment….it’s not so easy to see past yourself. I was vision impaired.
So why am I purging all of this today? Well, for two reasons really.
The first one reason is for you. To help you know that you are not alone when you are feeling like I was feeling. And also to tell you that, if you are feeling Low…..that it doesn’t have to be permanent. Give yourself the day, the week….hell….take 4 IF YOU MUST. But, eventually — choose to get out of your own way. Climb off your back, and pick yourself up from where you fell. Every day you spend lingering there, in your doubt — is a day you have wasted just beating yourself up. Learn to recognize the symptoms, and come to your rescue sooner!
The second reason is for me. Diane, sweetheart, the next time you feel like it’s too hard. Truly, truly too much to deal with, take the break. I’m here , giving it to you, today! Take the day, or 2, but no more — and blow it all off. Just don’t blame yourself for needing it. Then — come back. Come back refreshed, and begin again. Without scars, without self-inflicted damage. It’s all good. And you are AWESOME.
“Rest or work. You need to pick one or the other. There is no in between. If you are resting, then rest. But if you are working, then get your lunch pail and get to work. Doubt is not welcome at work either!” (that’s a quote from Marathon Brian that I received in email when I was in California beating myself up on vacation…. and it’s KILLER!)
Ciao for now…..Diane