“Women are taught to feel we’re not good enough, that we must live up to someone else’s standards. But my aim is to cherish myself as I am.”
Anyone who has been following this blog for a while knows that I have a propensity toward over doing it when it comes to training. I had thought (and hoped) that by working out with a trainer and optimizing my workouts that I would do better in the moderation department… Yeeeeaaahhh Not so much.
The problem is, no matter how much I run, bike, or train in a day: it just never seems like enough. I’m not sure exactly what makes me feel like I need to work so hard. It’s like a compulsion. If I don’t workout at all I feel like crap. If I go a week or more without training I get depressed. A couple days without a run and my anxiety goes bonkers. I have become so physically and psychologically dependent on exercise that the idea of not training or missing a day stresses me out. It’s like I’m completely addicted to the endorphins. There is nothing else that even comes close to alleviating my anxiety.
The problem is, the more I train, the more I feel like I need to train. Doing a quick 5K on the treadmill just doesn’t give me the same sense of accomplishment now as it did a year or two ago. These days I need to get in a good 8-10 miles at a clip to get any effect.- that’s on top of the 3 workouts a week with the trainer and the easily 30+ miles I’ve been biking a week.
Maybe my problem is that the fitter I get, the harder I have to work to feel like I’m really pushing myself; and that is what training out is all about for me- pushing my limits and reminding myself that I am stronger than I thought. The issue becomes that there are only so many hours in a day, and I can’t spend all of them training. As it is, I already struggle to get in enough calories to keep up with what I’m doing. I couldn’t imagine doing or eating any more in a day!
I need to find a way to deal with my anxiety that does not solely depend on working out. Furthermore, I need to appreciate what I can get accomplished in a week and recognize that it’s more than what most people would be willing to take on. I need to not compare myself to what other people are accomplishing because their achievements have nothing to do with me or what I am capable of. Lastly, I need to learn to not be so critical of myself, to stop judging myself based on what I’m accomplishing this moment, and instead to look at just how far I’ve come.
There is always going to be someone faster, stronger, or fitter, but those people have nothing to do with my journey. I have done half marathons, tough mudders, a marathon, took on the ultra beast, and I am still standing. I may not be currently running 30 miles a week, but I am taking on cycling– and that is HUGE for me!
In fact, I just got my bike fitted today! With big girl clip-in pedals even! To be honest, it scares the hell out of me more than anything else, but life is best lived outside the comfort zone. Getting into cycling has been a huge hurdle for me, and instead of beating myself up that I’m not getting good at it faster or logging more miles in addition, I should be celebrating the fact that I am challenging myself on a whole new level. Soooo that is what I am going to try to focus on doing. Instead of obsessing about getting in enough mileage to run a marathon in addition to taking up cycling, I am going to try to focus on one thing at a time. The most important thing for me right now is to concentrate on the cycling, so that is what I plan on doing.
Rather than stress myself out about what else I could be doing, I am going to continue to remind myself just how far I have come with that bike. I have progressed from full on panic attacks to clip in shoes! Again, HUGE! I rode over 100 miles of hills streets, traffic, and busy intersections on a mountain bike and earned that road bike. I pedaled though the anxiety and panic to a point where I can enjoy cycling… and I’m sure I will get back to that place once I get the hang of these new pedals… 😉