I had a point to prove to myself today. Over the last few weeks I have been frustrated with my running. I’m still getting to know my new post-baby body and I have found it hard to really ‘push’ on my runs. I felt I needed to have one all-out session where I pushed the limits distance and effort-wise. If I could do this then I felt I would be re-acquainting with the resilience and toughness that got me so far in my achievements before my pregnancy. Last night I told my partner Craig “I’m running 7km tomorrow.”
So we awaken this morning to see the predicted cold snap in the weather in full swing. Strong winds, epic wind chill and rain clouds. I didn’t care about the weather, I actually like training in poor conditions because let’s face it, you don’t get to choose your conditions come race day. Craig looked at me: “are you still going?” “Yep” I replied. He knew what this meant to me and why I needed to do it.
So off I set, getting it all done. I won’t lie, the conditions were uncomfortable and I even came within seconds of a tree falling on me. I had two goals – I wanted to do it within the hour, and I wanted to have a negative split. I achieved both. I was stoked.
Later I posted an image on Instagram detailing two of my goals – covering 7km and having a negative split. I almost didn’t give the details on the distance though. Why? Because I felt it wasn’t enough. I imagined people reading it thinking ‘what she only did 7km?’ I was almost tempted to put some half-arsed reasoning in there along the lines of ‘it may not seem like far but blah blah blah’. But I refrained and decided to own that 7km because that was my victory. I aimed to cover 7km and I did that.
It made me remember how so many of us have a habit of cheapening our athletic experiences because we feel that in the eyes of others, it is not enough. We use words like ‘only’ and ‘just’ to describe our efforts, or the old ‘it might not be much but I’m getting there’ or the like. You ask our bodies however, and I bet their answer is a lot different. Our heart rate statistics reveal we didn’t ‘just’ go for a run, or we ‘only’ did a certain distance. Effort is effort and we need to own it and be proud of it. We also need to celebrate the victories that are unique to us.
The celebration of our personal victories is something I have always been very passionate about, so for this to enter my mind left me a little disappointed with myself. I had worked my heart out, achieved everything I set out to do and yet I still almost cheapened my experience.
So this week I am going to make a point of celebrating every victory that is relative to me. If I squat deeper than I got last week, that’s my victory. If I hold a plank longer than I did last week, that’s my victory. And if I recover well from today’s effort, then that’s a victory too.
What victories will you be celebrating this week?