“But remember, we are our own best critics and really the only ones who see our characteristics as flaws. So build a good tribe that never lets you forget the bigger picture.”
If you follow along with my adventures via Instagram stories, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been doing a lot of running recently. And if you don’t follow along on InstaStories now you know. I’ve been doing a lot. of. running.
Recently, I got the crazy notion in my head to sign up for a half marathon. And, because I can’t seem to resist going above and beyond with anything in life, I went big and signed up for the Gauntlet Challenge – which means I’m running a 10k on Saturday (11/11) and a half marathon on Sunday (11/12). That means I pretty much spend my free time training – running and swimming – and will be doing so for the next few months. Have I mentioned that I’m literally counting down the days until November 13th?
And I know you must be asking yourself, why am I reading about running? I didn’t come here to read about running and training. There are a MILLION other (and better!) blogs out there about health, fitness, and wellness culture. Not to mention, I don’t even LIKE running.
And I hear you. Running can kinda suck.
I solemnly swear I am up to no good and will never become one of those people who encourage you to eat kale at every meal or convince you a raw/plant based/ juicing all day/ eating only air diet is the ultimate of all things in life. Full disclosure – I pretty much eat Reese’s for breakfast and Mexican food for dinner at least once a week (it is how I keep my San Diego citizen ship card!).
However, some of the habits I am developing through this process have subtly made their way into the non-running side of my life. Surprisingly, the biggest benefit from this experience so far is not the physical changes I’ve experienced, but the mental challenges I’ve been able to overcome. And somehow, through the magic of life, those same skills have managed to find their way into all aspects of my life.
Lesson One: How To Conquer The Monster
If you focus on the problem, it becomes a monster that just keeps growing, ultimately becoming undefeatable.
Perspective is the biggest obstacle in overcoming any challenge. But I’m learning in life the more I focus on a particular issue (aka “the monster”) vs the actual journey to defeat the monster, the more impossible the challenge becomes. However, when I focus on putting one foot in front of the other, I look up to learn that I not only defeated the original monster, but the other monsters waiting behind him.
Lesson Two: You Can Do Anything For Three Minutes
Or 30 minutes for that matter.
Right now my training has me running for 3 minutes, then walking for two. And when I first started, running for three minutes felt CRAZY. In a group or race, 3 minutes is nothing. Alone? Three minutes can feel like an eternity.
When translated into my non-running life, 3 minutes becomes 30 minutes, but the idea remains the same. You can do anything for 30 minutes – working out, checking emails, working on a project, or reading a book. And soon, you’ll start to find 30 minutes isn’t long enough.
Lesson Three: Never Forget The Bigger Picture
While my main focus is training, my ulterior motive has been loosing weight. Because, you know, I’m human and want to feel I’m my best self at all times. And I’m slightly vain. Maybe more than slightly.
We’ve all been conditioned to think that working out means we loose weight along the way. I can still eat my Reese’s for breakfast if I’m running four miles a day and see a reduction in my waistline, right? Not going to lie – I will run for Reese’s and Mexican food. Have you had real, authentic, Mexican food? If you have, you totally get me.
We all have our complexes and for me, it’s my waistline. Growing up in beach culture San Diego, a bikini ready body with a flat stomach is the ultimate goal. And while I 100% believe in healthy eating and body image, that’s for a different post and a different day, and a different blog. Given my background I lasered in on my waistline and muffin top. No matter the mileage, the muffin top still existed. Which, in my mind, translates to failure.
However, in focusing in on one specific detail, I’ve lost the bigger picture. I still have the muffin top, but it is not as voluptuous. And, while I’ve had a hard time giving in to believing them, several people have commented on how my body is changing and looking leaner (though the scale likes to mess with my mind weekly).
But that’s the beauty in life – our friends (and loved ones) see our full potential, not just our muffin top. And while we get lost in the details, they are there to pull us out and help us see the full picture.
Ultimately, the bigger picture is our full potential, not the detail we are currently fixating on. It’s easy to get lost on the details of our flaws. But remember, we are our own best critics and really the only ones who see our characteristics as flaws. So build a good tribe that never lets you forget the bigger picture. Because, ultimately, it is our bigger picture potential that has an impact.
Keep up with my adventures and favorite give back active brands on Instagram (and InstaStories!)