Over the weekend I posted a picture of my Strava activity from a training run I completed.
I captioned it like this:
“This is what consistency looks like. I’m slow. Like almost didn’t want to share this with anyone slow. But I’m out there, doing the thing and doing it consistently.”
Saying I almost didn’t want to share this with anyone wasn’t true. I 100% did not want to share that. I don’t want to be that slow. None of my friends are that slow.
I’m going to share with you the two biggest struggles of my life. The two things that almost nobody knows about me. I share these in the hope that you can start to be okay with the things you struggle with.
My Second Biggest Struggle
The second biggest struggle in my life is admitting to other people that I have struggles. There is nothing wrong with running 3.42 miles at almost a fifteen minutes per mile pace. In my head I know that, but in my heart it feels awful, like people will see me as un-athletic or not good enough.
I decided to share it because I am an Enneagram 3. I have a deep need for everyone to see me as having it all together. (If you aren’t familiar with the Enneagram, that is okay, I’m going to do a podcast episode about it soon.)
I knew sharing the post was going to be a big moment for me. What I didn’t know was that the responses to my post were going to bring a new level of self awareness.
People were so supportive. I got amazing comments like:
- You do you!! We all start somewhere!! Great job!!
- Slow is a comparison. Keep doing you, friend.
- Proud of you!
- you’re killing it !!!
The BIGGEST Struggle in my Life
My initial reaction to these comments was shame. Yes, you read that correctly: Shame.
The BIGGEST struggle in my life is receiving encouragement from other people. I don’t hear encouragement in the way you probably do. I see encouragement as a condescending pat on the head.
Let me be absolutely clear: These comments were all supportive and left by people who love me and care about me.
Here’s how I felt them in order:
- You are a beginner!!
- You are just starting out. You aren’t good yet, but maybe one day.
- Look at you trying to be healthy, poor guy doesn’t realize he’s almost 40.
- You are so slow it’s almost cute to think that you see yourself as someone who can inspire other people.
None of that is true. It wasn’t meant that way and I KNOW THAT. One of those comments was from my Aunt for Pete’s sake! She loves me more almost as much as my mom!
The Truth about Me
The truth about me is that I am a beginner. Not in the sense that I’ve never done this before, but in the sense that I am starting over.
I am completely rebuilding my life. The last major endurance races I did was a 25k trail race in 2018. I’ve done a smattering of 5k and 10k races since then, but nothing I took very seriously.
I worked through the feelings of shame this weekend and came through feeling proud.
Proud to have so many people cheering me on as I change my life. Proud to be a beginner who is learning how to make health and fitness a priority instead of an after thought. Proud that I did my run regardless of the speed.