We’re Gonna Be So Skinny…

I started running this week with a youth program.  We are doing a learn-to-run program with the goal of running a 10k in April.

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It was a brutal first couple of runs.  It’s been three years since I last did a run and, let’s just say, my fitness level has fallen.  We are only running a few minutes at a time (with a couple of minutes of walking between each set) but everything hurts.

I decided during my first few seconds of running that my only goal was to run when they said run, walk when they said walk.  I did not care about my speed.

I was soon a full half-lap behind the rest of the group.

As I ran I watched a little girl race to catch up with the others, clutch her side, stop and bend over, repeat.  I dug deep and ran to come up at her side.

“Why don’t you run with me?” I gasped.

She looked at me suspiciously so I continued to babble through gasps of air.

“Did you know that it doesn’t matter how fast you go?  It just matters that you are doing it.  We can go slow together.  We’ll get faster.  We’re just racing ourselves, not them.”

She thought for a moment and then fell into step beside me.  After another moment of reflection she said: “I didn’t know that it doesn’t matter how fast you go.”

“No, it doesn’t,” I replied.  “All that matters is we are here and that we are trying our best.”

“We are gonna get so skinny!” she exclaimed excitedly.

My heart broke just a little in that moment for the nine-year-old child huffing along beside me.

“Hmmmm.  I’m not here to get skinny.” I paused, trying to gather my thoughts.  “I’m here to look after my body.  It doesn’t matter what my body looks like so long as I am taking proper care of it.  That’s what I want to do.”

She soaked that in for a moment, nodded slowly, smiled, and kept going.

I relayed the conversation to J later that evening, as we lay in our separate cities, phones pressed to our ears.

“Huh,” he said carefully.  Then: “I’m going to remind you you said that next time you need it.”

Touche hon.  Touche.

It saddened me to speak with a child, so young, who was already wrestling with the body image issues that have plagued my mind.  My few words won’t really make a difference.  They are a drop in an ocean.  I hope that they sit at the back of her mind.  I hope that she remembers them one day when she feels bad about herself.  I hope that she continues to run by my side as we conquer this thing called fitness.  We ran today and high-five’d each other after each set.

Having a group of kids cheering me on is really motivating.  A young boy lapped me at one point this afternoon and called out “you are doing a good job!” as he flew past.

I don’t want to disappoint them.  Most of all I don’t want to disappoint myself.

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The One Thing You Can’t Escape…

A question for you…

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I haven’t been in the best state of mind for a while now.  Work was hard, December was hard, Christmas vacation was great, then I was back to work being hard, a longer commute than I’ve had in a few years and too much time on my own.

I haven’t liked myself very much lately.  I’ve been eating like crap, watching too much TV, exercising: not at all.  I’ve been stressing about money and wondering how I will pay for all my wonderful summer plans as well as the new roof my building is putting on.  I’ve put out an ad for a roommate even though not having one for the month of January has been absolutely freeing.  I’m heavier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.  I hate looking in the mirror.

I’m frustrated and I’m berating myself for not somehow being “better”.

Sometimes it feels like no matter how far we come we aren’t far enough.  Sometimes we realize that the one person we’d like to escape (ourselves) is the one person we can’t run away from.

I spilled coffee on myself this morning.  Not just on myself… I dumped my cup of coffee onto the leather seat of my car and it puddled under my butt and I drove to work sitting in the warm puddle because I was already running late.  My pants were soggy and cold and I smelled like stale coffee all day.

A few years ago this probably would have made me cry.  It probably would have ruined my mood for the rest of the day.  I would still have been pouting several hours later about how bad my luck had been.

Today I sent J a quick little text and had a giggle about the whole situation.  I decided that if I was still feeling gross at lunch I’d go to the mall and pick up a new pair of leggings (I’ve been trying to find time to do this for awhile now).

That’s the difference between who I am now and who I was then.

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A few years ago I was constantly stressed.  So stressed that the slightest thing out of place had the potential to send me over the edge.  I was in constant physical pain.  I was deeply unhappy and I wasn’t doing anything about it.

All of that is on me.  I didn’t make a change.  I couldn’t even see a change.

Right now I can see that I’m in some of the pitfalls that signal my mind isn’t in a great place.  I’m obsessing about plans and timelines and budgets.  I’m ignoring my body.  I’m actively not looking after it.

I’m comparing my life to the lives of those around me and I keep thinking that somehow I’m coming up short.  I should have a family, a home, whatever the next “step” is, I should be there.

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I’m not seeing that I’m exactly where I should be because it is exactly where I’ve worked to be.  I’m not recognizing how far I’ve come.  All I can see is how far I have to go.

I’m struggling.

But at least I recognize that I am struggling.  At least I know that I can make a change, make this better.

I’m going to meditate more.  Organize my house so that my space (and therefore mind) is less cluttered.  I volunteered to help with a kids running program so I’ll be forced off my ass.

There isn’t really a quick fix for where I am currently.  But at least I can see a path to a better state.

How do you get out of a funk?  How do you recognize that you are in one?

Really Mom and Dad? In What World Did Megan + Soccer Camp Seem Like A Good Idea?!

My parents put me into a soccer day camp when I was about 10.  It was the worst week of my entire life.  I’m fairly certain that it was also the worst week of their lives.  I put a lot of effort into making the whole household understand how deeply unhappy I was with the situation.  I apologize for that now because they probably really did have the best of intentions and probably weren’t trying to ruin my life.  Probably.

(Though, really Mom and Dad?  In what world did Megan and Soccer Camp seem like a good idea?!)

I hate exercise.

I mean, I REALLY hate exercise.

I always have.

People say that the trick is to find something that you love and do that.  I’ve never found something that I love more than I love laying around and reading.

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(#fatamyismyhero)

I love being strong, I love being fit, I hate that I am currently woefully out of shape.  I actually find it really embarrassing.

But I really really really hate exercise.

It’s never going to be fun for me.

I like hiking.  I love swimming in a lake in the summer.  I like paddle boarding and kayaking.  But I don’t like the up keep of being in shape.

I also hate allowing other people to see how out of shape or uncoordinated I am.  I find it humiliating.  Like, soul deep, going to cry hysterically later, humiliating.  I can’t seem to get over this no matter how hard I try.

The only reason that I’m writing this right now is that I made a promise to my students recently.  My promise was that I would join them for running club which starts in 6 weeks.  I’ve started a running program so that I’ll be ready.  Only the thought of letting my kids down is getting me to the gym.

I really need to go to the gym right now and go for a run (and also complete a ridiculous number of exercises that my physio has assigned me).  But I don’t want to.

Because I hate exercise.

(You might ask, why run then?  Why not just walk each day?  I do.  My body holds onto weight like it’s expecting a famine at any moment.  The only way I’ve ever budged pounds, aside from full fasting, is by running.  And my jeans are a bit on the tight side at the moment.  I need to start running.)

I’d love to get over this.  I’d love to be the kind of person who was all like “I have to go to the gym now!” (perky voice) instead of “I have to go to the gym now.” (pray that a bus puts me out of my misery on my way there, k? voice).  The fact that I struggle so much with this is one part of myself that I really hate.

I’m a pretty successful person.  I’m motivated, I work hard.  And yet the one thing that I’ve failed at in my life is the first thing that people see about me.  I carry it around on my body, a visible reminder of my failure, a visible sign that I don’t have it all together.  It really bothers me and it doesn’t seem to be as simple as just getting off my ass and getting to the gym.  I don’t know why.

Anyone else experienced this?  Anyone found a way to love their workout?

I’d love some advice.

I have to go to the gym now.

(Maybe I’ll get lucky and get hit by a bus on the way.)

(Maybe I should just horizontal run while watching Pitch Perfect?)