Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missing the Motivation, Part 2

Click here to read Part One from yesterday. 

I told you that a few things had happened in the past few days that gave me some strength and clarity.  One of those things was realizing that I was actually fantasizing ways of becoming injured so I would have a "valid reason" to not run.  The other was a good friend, someone who is part of my church family, helped smack me around a little bit when I told her about it.

Those two things helped me realize that this isn't the right time for me.  That it is ok to dislike running and to stop trying to run.  I think if the pressure is off, I will actually run for pleasure at some point in time.  But these days, there is no pleasure in running or thinking about running. 

Running an event like a half marathon means specifically training for that distance, for that event.  I can't just be a healthy or fit person and get up one day and run 13.1 miles.  Maybe other fit people can but I can't.  Getting through the distances that I have since I started running in Feb 2010 has shown me that I am not a natural born runner. 

There was something else that changed my perspective this weekend and helped open me up to what's been going on with me.

I had a very surprise visit from one of my closest high school friends.  Cathy lives in Atlanta but was in a nearby city for a wedding and decided to surprise me on Sunday afternoon by just dropping by my house.  I cried a little and hugged her and almost didn't want to let go because I truly thought it might be some weird dream since I had just been napping on the couch.  We had a great, but short, visit before she had to get on the road for her next stop.

As we stood outside saying our goodbyes, she mentioned that I'm inspirational and motivating.  That I post about exercising on my lunch hour and I share about cleaning my house and cooking meals and just seem to have it all together- like I'm superwoman.

I'm not superwoman.  Seriously.  Not.

My house is a disaster- not only cluttered but in need of some cosmetic repair.  My clothes don't come out of a closet or drawer- they are usually snagged from a hamper of clean clothes in the bedroom.  My dishes pile up in my sink and sometimes sit for a few days before getting to the bottom of the pile.

I never planted my garden this year and haven't even gotten around to tearing down the weeds that have overgrown that space this year.  I let the birds be very well fed by my blackberry bush.  I planted no flowers, have done nothing to make my yard or landscaping look nice. 

For some very legit reasons (and some not very legit), I haven't been exercising.  I've almost taken most of the month of August off.  I was maybe going to the gym once a week.  I had a brief spurt of doing "Just Dance" at home a few times each night.  I've been snacking on junk after the kids go to bed.  I've been eating fast food more often than I'm willing to admit. 

I love that I have friends who have been motivated and inspired by choices and changes I've made in my own life.  And those people also motivate and inspire me.  I love that I'm seeing new announcements of signing up for first time ever 5K's or seeing someone post about completing their first Couch to 5K workout.  I get so excited when someone posts about fresh fruits and veggies or finding new healthy options. 

But I've been lacking motivation completely lately because I've been trying to force myself to do something I really do not want to do.  And it's been backfiring across the board of healthy living choices. 

But my friend used those words.  Inspire. Motivate.  And it hit me.  I don't have to run a half marathon to be healthy and strong and fit.  I don't have to run a half marathon to inspire others to make better choices.  I think that the best motivation and inspiration comes when we find truly authentic people who simply live their lives out loud and we happen to hear their song.  I'd lost my song.  I forgot the notes, forgot the words.  I wasn't being authentic and real- I was being lazy and frustrated and worn down.

That's done.  I know I may backslide again.  I will hit other roadblocks and speedbumps and whatever other traffic analogies you want to use.  For me, this has never been about a specific end result.  The end for me doesn't come from a number in my pants or on my scale.  The end for me doesn't come because I ran so far or biked so many miles or lifted so many pounds.  This has to be a way of living, an everyday series of choices.

I'm going to call my Team in Training contact and quit the event.  My fundraising minimum will be met- I will make that final deposit that I've been holding onto (I guess I thought holding onto it would mean that I was somehow still plugged in to the whole experience).  I'm not going to run that half marathon in October.

I'm also not giving up and I'm not going to let down the people who donated in support of my efforts.  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is still an organization that I believe in. 

Here's my pledge.  I'm going to log miles between now and the date of the event (Oct 15).  I pledge to bike 1 mile for every $10 that has been personally donated specifically in support of my efforts.  I'm not counting fundraising I've done (the dinner I made or the buckets shakes).  But for every individual who has mailed a check or donated online, I will ride 1 mile for every $10.  Those who donated $100 get 10 miles.  It will come out to around 100 miles to be done within the next 4 weeks and I do plan to truly dedicate the miles to those who have donated.

And more than that, I'm working on getting back on track to get focused on an overall healthy and fit lifestyle.  I'm making time in my schedule for the gym- I'll force it in any way that I can.  Food choices will be more of a struggle as I work to stop the stress and emotional eating habits I've fallen back into lately. 

I'm not perfect.  I'm not superwoman.  And lately, I can't even say that I've been trying my best.  The workload thing really jarred me and threw me for a big old loop but then I let myself just keep sliding down that slippery slope. 

I am trying- and now I can even say I'm trying my best. 



Ashli said...

Hey there Lady! Great post. I am glad I could be a part of it. I know it is hard to see yourself in the dark and gloomy place of running (not the greatest word I could have used, I know) from yourself...I have been there often and in all honesty I will most likely return...the biggest part is that God continues to put people in your path (and in mine) to pull you out of that pit and get you smiling again! I am so happy that you are "you" again...my friend Liz, not superwoman, but Liz...keep it up girl and don't forget that your actions aren't for anyone else but that "audience of One"...Love You! (even if you were SuperWoman, I would still be your friend, but you know what I mean...)

Jaime said...

I am so proud of you! I know you've struggled with this and I think biking for joy will be wonderful for you. Part of life is standing up for yourself - it's okay not to like something and it's okay to not do those things. I wish you miles of biking fun. :)

C. Beth said...

Here's what I love about this:

So often we get PARALYZED because we realize we can't be perfect. So we have trouble even trying. It's easier to do nothing than to do something, imperfectly. That's such a sad, hopeless place to be!

What you're doing is giving yourself the permission to be imperfect. And because of that, you are going to be able to move forward (literally MOVE forward...on a bike!) instead of (again, literally) sitting still.

You rock. Great job figuring this out. I'm sure you feel a lot of freedom, and being free is a wondrous thing. :)

beth said...

You are amazing!!! And no, you don't have to run a half marathon to prove that!

I've learned through my running, fitness, and weight-loss journey that we each have to find what makes us happy and keeps us going. For me, it's running and yoga. Biking? Can't stand it. Swimming? I'm no good at it for a variety of reasons. Love the water and do my own thing, but nowhere near well enough to do a duathalon or even a tri.

You be who you are! Because who you are is beautiful and amazing!!

Kristin - The Goat said...

I see I didn't have to wait long :) I'm so happy that you made a decision and are happy with the way that decision made you feel. What a great idea to do some exercise for the donations you received. I think that's the perfect solution.

Garret said...

Well you are inspiring and you are amazing.

I need to get back to dieting... It's horrible. I'm just choosing yummy food. Maybe it's just easier. I can't blame my failure on stress or anything. I've just quit and said, "but I like to eat". Oy.

Shannon said...

Liz, my yoga instructor says this at the end of class and I think it's a great message, "May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace."

You were spreading yourself thin, with work, family and training, I would put training in the backburner too.

Run again when you want to, when it makes you happy, and when your hair blows in the breeze and makes you smile..... exercise is a part of your life now, and should make you happy.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I think that's a great idea, Liz!

And, you know, maybe running just isn't your sport. I believe there is something each of us is best at, athletics-wise. Sure, we can learn to be proficient at others, but that doesn't mean it's where we excel.

Nej said...

You are not alone. You need to know that. The dishes in my kitchen are outrageous. My hubby finally cleaned the bathroom the other day, because we were afraid of it coming alive and taking over. :-)

Everyone backslides, everyone has times in their lives when it all won't fit, and even if it does, you don't feel like doing it.

Find the pleasure you once felt when running....and if you don't, then find something new. 2011 is the year of change....but what's ahead will be magnificent!!!!!!!