Let’s face a simple fact: it’s hard to stay committed to your health when the rest of your life dangles by a thread. How can we take care of ourselves fully when just getting out of bed feels like a monumental effort? I’ve been there. It really, really sucks.
I’ve been going through a really rough breakup from my fiance. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, and it’s hard to even drag myself to work, but I have found some solace in the gym. Throwing weights around has given me some feeling of control over my currently out-of-control situation, and somehow exercising my physical strength has boosted my mental & emotional muscle as well.
Even though I’ve been in the gym, though, it’s been sporadic and glaringly unplanned. So you can imagine my shock when I realized, “holy sh*t, I have a Spartan Sprint this weekend.” As in this this weekend. A few days away!
I was terrified. I could barely sleep the night before because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to finish some of the obstacles (like the traverse wall, tire pulling, etc.) and feel like a failure. Even worse, I had been looking forward to this for months. And the plight of a really awful breakup had benched me to the point that I’d almost completely forgotten it existed.
So many things in my life felt like they’d failed miserably; I didn’t want this kickass, awesome race to follow suit.
I showed up to the race with my heart beating somewhere in my stomach and head pounding with fear-induced adrenaline. But you know what? I did it. I was sure I didn’t do great, but it felt damn good to do something positive.
The day after the race, I felt like I got hit by a truck. I was so sore that I spent most of the day on my yoga mat gently stretching out and reliving the glory of the bumps, bruises and scrapes that proudly adorned my body. My friends kept urging me to check my finish time, but I didn’t think much of it. I was sure I had done somewhere south of the middle.
Finally, I did check them. And I was shocked to see that I finished 8th in my age group, and 197th out of the 700 people that completed the sprint that weekend. I finished eighth??? How was that even possible??
I realized that, during the race, I had been putting myself down so much that I didn’t realize how well I actually did. I was passing a lot of people and easily conquered the running bouts, but I just assumed I was passing the back of my heat because somehow I’d fallen behind. I had easily conquered almost every single obstacle – I even shimmied right across the traverse wall, which was flanked by ripped crossfiters doing endless punitive burpees for falling off.
I’ve always thought of myself as someone that was into fitness – this race made me realize that I’m truly fit. Inside and out, top to bottom fit. I might not be running a marathon tomorrow, but I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. And I am happily training for my first this winter 🙂
This epiphany has shifted my entire perspective. I’ve been so focused on my progress and moving forward/getting better/going harder that I never took the time to evaluate how far I’ve come. If I had such a lack of faith in my own fitness, what other aspects of my life could I be looking at negatively?
I think it’s easy for all of us to be caught up in the chase and forget to enjoy the journey.
Happy thoughts & have faith,