I've been so very blessed so far in life. Though I am loud, selfish, defiant, obnoxious, competitive, vulgar, easily influenced, vain, combative, spoiled, and controlling (amongst my many flaws we could list), I am surrounded by this wonderful support network. I am truly loved by so many wonderful people. People who would go far lengths to ensure that I am happy despite my many flaws.
I was discussing my foot plight and the fact that in both elite women's races I did this year I failed to perform to my personal standards. During this discussion my friend and I came to the conclusion that those I surround myself with only want to see me happy. They believe, because I have told them thus, that in order to be happy I want to run an OTQ. They believe, because running an OTQ requires it, that I want to run in these exclusive fields. And when I came up with this goal I really thought this was true. I saw these women at the trials and found them to be so inspiring. I wanted to follow in their footsteps.
I haven't quite made it there, but I have made it to a level where I have been introduced to this world, and I think the truth, for me, might be that it isn't really what I expected, or what I now desire. But how do you look all these loved ones in the face and tell them that they've been supporting you for you only to "give up" when you are knocking on your goals door?
I've always put pressure on myself to excel. In high school I made it my goal to excel in cross country, in band, and in classes. I had this habit of feeling like those around me expected me to do these things, but the truth is I put those goals out there, and my loved ones rallied around me to cheer me on to reaching them.
I've been doing the same thing with my running career the past few years. I set this goal, and along the way somehow my perception became that those that love me expect me to perform, that they expect me to shine, that they expect certain times or results of me. But that isn't the truth (and if it is, those aren't the people that really love me). The truth is these people have rallied around me and want to see me achieve these things because I have given them the impression that this is my hearts true desire.
After Boston and Cleveland I was such an emotional mess, I called my mom in tears ready to hire a shrink. I was struggling with workouts and my body, and I was ready to throw in the towel. I found myself on the track pleading with my coach for a break in tears. Perhaps this should have been a sign, but I slowly started to feel better, and I convinced myself that I could push through and up until the past 4 weeks I was slowly making my way back to my previous fitness, though it was forced. When you are feeling good you put the negative and the doubts aside, I was able to tune out my foot as long as the workouts or the races were there, in focused pursuit of one thing.
Through this slew of illness, injuries, stress, and over-training my loved ones have done everything they can to help "fix" me. But the truth is I have to want to be fixed. And right now I am not sure that I do*. Maybe this injury was a blessing in disguise, one that will let me step back and look at what I really want. In the meantime I am so grateful for all my loved ones, whether they be family, friends, or my virtual network.
Yes I have shed some serious tears the past few days, and yes I am heart broken not to be running, and yes I am devastated that I just can't seem to get the timing right this year for a breakthrough run.
But I believe what I am finding is that I can and will be happy regardless of perhaps missing out on this one goal for now. That through no one's error but my own I put myself in a position where I was forced to sit down and look at what I have been doing to myself. And I don't like what I see. Look for more posts on how I am going to put the happy back into my running (once I am up and running!) and how I am going to balance all my loves and interests so that when my next obstacle comes up I won't be so devastated!
And to all those loved ones thank you so much for supporting me through my ups and downs. I promise I am going to come through this down and be happier in the long term because of it.
*I reserve the right to totally have an about face anytime on these goals. Maybe we should add bi-polar to the flaws above.