It may come as a surprise, but I tend to enjoy talking to people who love fitness. People on running groups on social media, people at work, people at the gym. But whether it be face to face or online, I am starting to notice a common trend when it comes to fitness talk.
We love to putting ourselves down.
Almost every post I read or every conversation that I have starts with the five letter S word or some form of self negativity.
“Sorry I’m not as fast as some….”
“Sorry it wasn’t a long distance…..”
“I know I’m not as fit as you….”
“I know I don’t lift as heavy…”
I am by no means exempt of this. In fact I’m probably worse than most for it.
But why? Why are we so quick to slap away our achievements by pointing out that we’re not as good as others? Why does it even matter? Are we really not proud of our achievement?
I can only answer the above for myself, but I know when I’m posting about my distances, my PT’s and my workouts it’s because I’m really bloody proud of how far I have come. Yet still I feel the need to play it down. I do the same in with Mr PT. despite knowing his praise is only given out when he really means it, I still finding myself disagreeing and claiming I could do better. At the end of any class at Infiite Air, there always seems to be a “I didn’t do as well as you” conversation .
It seems we’re so hell bent on lapping praise on each other that we counter act it by taking it away from ourselves.
Are you really sorry that you only ran 5 miles or 5k today? Are you really sorry that you lifted the heaviest that you have yet? That you went to the gym and worked your ass off? Are you really sorry that you ONLY ran a half marathon today?
I ran a marathon a few months ago and tend to tell the story with ‘ I ran a marathon but it took me over 5 hours”….a MARATHON. 2 years ago I couldn’t run up the stairs! And again,I can’t speak for anyone else but if someone tells me they have ran any distance or completed any sort of gym session I never think “oh is that all” and I certainly never think “I’m much better than that”.
I’ve made a concious effort in the last few weeks to be proud of myself and my achievements. Ok so sometimes I don’t stick to training schedules. I’ve touched upon it in previous posts but sometimes I just don’t want to run. Sometimes I feel tired when I train or I spend a PT glancing at the timer and praying it was over. Sometimes I would much rather spend half an hour being shouted at by Mr PT than 4 hours running on my own. And that’s ok. Because the only person it really effects is me. Because really, unless I’m going for Olympic gold, it doesn’t matter if i run a marathon in 5 hours or 5 minutes-its my achievement and i damn well deserve to be proud of that.
I’ve made quite a few decisions this year that at the beginning of the year I would have definitely seen as a failure. Would definitely apologise for. Deciding to withdraw from Total Warrior this year, deciding not to compete in the Great North Run, deciding not to do the Ultra next year that I had set my sights on. But actually I’m learning that you should be just as proud of the things you decide not to do as much as the things you did. Mr PT told me I’d been smart when I told him I had deferred total warrior for a year to concentrate on one run at a time with keilder coming up. Mr Husband looked relieved when I told him I wasn’t risking an injury for the great north run and was only doing runs that mattered rather than literally running myself into the ground and after both of them gently pointed out that juggling my job and Ultra training would leave little time for anything else, I finally admitted to myself that I actually enjoy the lifting and strength stuff as much as the running so will be dedicating next year to smaller distances but bigger challenges- obstacle races here I come!!
Yesterday I trained with Mr PT. I kept going until the end. I ran, I lifted and I burpee’d until the end for as long and as many as he told me to. And when he told me I deserved to be pleased, I smiled and high-fived him back whilst I said thank you. Then I left the gym and realised that for the last few PT’s I hadn’t just enjoyed working out but had actually thoroughly enjoyed the session. Not just after training, but during, i had the biggest smile on my face. Because for the first time in a while, I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone but myself….and maybe Mr PT….a little bit.
It was my second training session of the weekend, my second training session of the week. Because last week I didn’t train. I worked from 12pm to 130pm and then I came home and helped my husband cook dinner. In the morning I put washing in and ran errands. Because sometimes life just takes over and that’s ok too. And you absolutely don’t have to apologise for that. Yes training is a part of my life but so is my work and so is my family. Sometimes running a bath is needed more than running miles. Because if your mind isn’t motivated, how can your body be?
So maybe it’s time we stopped saying sorry for being us. For being happy. I’m proud at how far I’ve come and what my body has acheived in the last few years. I’m proud I can train my body to its limit whilst I maintain a full time job and still have time to be a wife and step mum. I’m proud I can run, I’m proud I can lift, and I’m proud that once in a while I can sack it off to go out with my family.
Almost as proud as I am to admit I’ve had at least 4 chocolate biscuits whilst writing this….and I’m not even sorry!!