Sometimes, I can really be full of sh*t

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The mind can be a powerful thing.

I'm living proof that "faking it til you make it" can actually work most of the time. With my powers of delusion, I've talked myself into doing a lot of things that quite honestly I didn't truly believe I could pull off. Did I know that I wouldn't have a claustrophobic meltdown when I set out to spelunk a few pitch black caves for four hours? No. But I did know that passing up the chance at something really amazing was a regret I couldn't live with, so I jumped in nevertheless and if I failed, at least I knew unequivocally that it couldn't be done—and that, I can live with. Thankfully, for this adventure and a few others, it turned out that I could—I faked it, and yes I did actually make it. Times like that, I was glad that I was full of sh*t.

Other times, though, my prowess for bullsh*t works against me. For the past few months, I've been slacking off on running and thought it was justified because I felt a bit of pain in my feet. Never mind that whatever discomfort I felt had more to do with my penchant for wearing ballet flats with zero arch support than actual running. But last weekend, I finally had to face the music. The half marathon that I had signed up for with a bunch of friends had finally rolled around and I couldn't bullsh*t my way out of it without getting bombarded.

"You've already paid for it. You can always run-walk-run if you have a hard time."
"You did a full marathon! All those miles on those legs—you can do this."
"You were fine in Brooklyn. You'll be fine this time."
"Come on, you'll get a pretty medal! You know you want it."

Still, I was so indecisive that when my alarm woke me at 5:30am on Sunday, the first thing I did was check the weather. Please, show me rain, I thought desperately, wanting an easy out. No such luck. Wearily, I pinned the race bib to my shirt and put on those neglected running shoes (I also made sure to put my insurance card inside my running pouch in case I had to be peeled off the pavement somewhere in Staten Island). As the ferry pulled away from Whitehall, I watched a beautiful sunrise come up over Brooklyn. No turning back now.
I was petrified when the race began, not having run any long distances since the Brooklyn Half Marathon. But as mile after mile passed and I found myself running and holding my usual 10-minute mile pace, I started to inwardly berate myself.

"You are so full of sh*t! I can't believe how many runs you talked yourself out of when you're perfectly capable of running all these miles!"

Somehow, I made it past that finish line—and did it in my second best time to date, phantom injuries notwithstanding. Oh the lies I tell myself, I thought sheepishly when I woke up the next day feeling pretty darn good—a bit tired and stiff maybe, but nothing remotely approaching an injury.

I hope this lesson sticks—not only because I will eventually hurt myself if I keep running races improperly trained, but because I could have improved my life even a little bit had I not bullsh*tted myself into complacency. I could've made a new personal record. I could've been faster and stronger. I could've been better.

Mind over matter. But please, always for the better.

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14 comments

  1. Well said! And congrats on completing the race. I hear you on the ballet flats situation too. They've given my feet a lot of problems, and I learned the importance of arch support and cushioned heels pretty late.

    Mind if I add your blog to my blogroll?

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    1. Please feel free to do so! Thanks! I am very happy about the race but very sad about the ballet flats sitch ... I love the look but they are killing my feet! No more suffering in the name of fashion for me ...

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  2. I liked this. I've been looking to find some good personal adventure type blogs that give just the tiniest random sneak peek into someone else's world. Yours was quick, interesting, and good.. And for that ill follow ;) I could always use the inspiration when writing my own. Take care.

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    1. Thanks for the awesome feedback and the follow! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog so far. I will try to keep things as interesting as possible ;-)

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  3. You've done a great job with your blog, it was worth reading it! (:

    http://livingourworld.blogspot.com.es/

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  4. Iam Verry like your blog, and I hope you will be happy always

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  5. Whether its running, eating healthy, taking out the trash before the ants get to it, we will always find a way to avoid the thing we know we should do. As long as we can acknowledge these flaws in our human nature, we can accept them and love them as that self help coach that lives within each and every one of us. Congrats, on finishing that dreaded run.

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    1. How true, Joe, and very well said! Thank you, I hope my inner self help coach can keep kicking my butt through the chilly seasons.

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  6. Your blog is awesome! I am a runner too and currently I am finding that life is just like a marathon. Through the strugles in my life I have found that worrying about tomorrow isn't going to do anything but ruin today. Keep up with the positive attitude and you can do anything in life!

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    1. Great attitude Kaley! I totally agree. Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!

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  7. I know this feeling. I love the line "bullsh*tted into complacency." Who hasn't done that before? But always a lesson to be learned, and always the next race to be better. Great job on kicking yourself in the ass and getting your legs moving. Happy running!
    B

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I'm on a slippery slope to further b*llshitting into complacency and needed a reminder not to keep on sliding. Hope to get myself back in my running shoes sooner rather than later!

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