Since January is already over, I guess I should formally announce My One Word for 2017. I have picked a word of focus for my year over each of the past two years and I believe the practice helps to shape my year in many positive ways.
The first year, I chose “balance” because I felt my running was out of balance ( I was always getting injured) and time management in my life was out of balance as well. Of course, maintaining balance is an ongoing struggle but I do believe that I handle it better since maintaining focus on it for an entire year.
Last year, I chose the word, “uncomfortable”, because nothing good ever happens in your comfort zone. WOW! I had NO idea how uncomfortable I could make myself, and I also had NO idea the amount of growth that could happen once I pushed myself to live in that uncomfortable place. To say that 2016 was an amazing year would be an understatement.
Moving on to 2017…..I wanted to choose a word that would build upon what I accomplished last year. At first, I toyed with “risk”, because I wanted to risk “failure” in training and races. I felt like the best way to grow was to push myself to do something that wasn’t a sure thing. However, after some input from friends, I realized that “risk” implied that I was leaving things to chance. And I am doing anything but that! So after my Sole Sister mentioned the word “conquer” (and explained some of her reasoning), I realized that “conquer” would actually be more difficult for me to achieve.
Sooooo, as Jenn pointed out, I actually DO need to conquer self-doubt, second guessing and feeling inadequate. WHY does she always have to be right?? Even so, I really didn’t want to settle on “conquer”. Putting myself in a situation in which I might have to deal with failure would have been MUCH easier than working on these other issues. I even had a race picked out that I didn’t think I would finish – I think I could DNF a difficult race and be OK with myself before I could conquer self-doubt. Conquering myself is definitely going to be the bigger challenge, by far!
Fast forward to Houston Marathon. Contrary to my normal mental outlook, I was actually VERY confident going into the race that I would get my BQ, even when the weather conditions went South and the race was to start under caution. But going into a race with confidence and actually achieving the goal are two different things.
Earning that BQ has been a game-changer where my mental state is concerned. I know it won’t last forever and I know that I’ll find myself in a place of doubt again at some point in the future, but for now, I actually believe in and am proud of myself. Before, I felt like I had something to prove (maybe only to myself??) and I feel like I have proven it. I am legitimate and enough, in my eyes anyway, which has calmed the restlessness of feeling inadequate (for now, anyway).
Right now, I’m in a really good place. I have some big races coming up, but I am still basking in the glory of my performance at Houston. Obviously I want to race well anytime that I race, but I am not putting a lot of pressure on myself at all. These are bucket list races and I am running them for the pure joy involved. More on those adventures next time!!
Happy February, all!