It’s been awhile, and here’s why: I fell out of love with running. Actually, with clean eating, strength training, pretty much just good health in general. Is that crazy? Yes, but look at what I did to myself: I took all of those good things and turned them into a JOB. And not just a job, but a job with an asshole boss.
I spent, oh, let’s call it the second half of 2014 just hating the pursuit of good health. Everything I had done in the past with gusto – cooking at home, enjoying an outdoor run, working up a great sweat at the gym – now all felt like shit. Isn’t that awful? I couldn’t help it, but I had slipped into the ever-destructive “never good enough” state of thinking and living. I can’t speak for others, but this does seem to be a hazard for athletes and people living with chronic health issues alike. I could never eat clean enough. I could never run fast enough. I could never get strong enough. I could never control my blood sugar enough. There was always someone faster, stronger, healthier than me, and always something I was failing at. That asshole boss? Myself. The angry voice in my head that doesn’t just say those things, but yells them. Screams them.
I did take solace in one thing during this time: at least I’m not enduring this crisis of confidence as a professional athlete. We all know what that voice sounds like, and to be certain, some athletes thrive on it. Some struggle with it. Some hear it and scream back! (And god bless them.) But I’m pretty sure that voice doesn’t go away once you start making money and getting attention for your athletic performance – in fact, if I were a betting woman, I’d say that voice might just get louder. So when I read this race report from Timothy Olsen, one of my favorites, some light started to break through the holes in my craggy heart. I wanted to hunt this guy down and give him a hug!
And another great article that I remember reading years ago that came quite in handy today as I started to write this:
This should give you an idea of how deep I was – I read Tim’s blog post two months ago and I feel like I’m only just now shedding that negativity. But the comfort of reading about professionals that share their suffering and crippling self-doubt was the first thing that started to heal my aching spirit. It wasn’t until this weekend, though, when I ran the Bandit 30K in Simi Valley, that I really felt my heart smile again. Well, anyone that knows what a 30K trail race is like knows that my heart didn’t start to smile until the race was over, but here’s the thing: It was grueling, it hurt, and it took me a long time. But the pain of the run was actually worse than the pain of my crisis. And strangely enough, that made the voice quiet down. And what do you know? Just in time for Valentine’s Day.❤