What Are You Running From?

It’s safe to say I’ve been a little lost since I set my goals on January 23 at approximately 4:26pm.

My intentions were good, and those really were my goals. Well, they still are. But some adjustments have been/ need to be made.

I keep letting life get in the way of my focus. I continue to allow my circumstances to overwhelm me, even though this is something I used to be great at preventing and dealing with on my own.

I’m realizing that the things that used to keep me motivated before are just not there anymore. Even though I retired from track and field a year and a half ago, I still spent the last year and a half(ish, until recent months) training. You could call this internal motivation, I did just enjoy training and still do – the way you feel about yourself after you’ve crushed a tough workout, the moments after a long run when you finally gain control over your breath again and realize how far your just ran, pushing yourself to your body’s absolute limit without letting your mind take over, the differences you notice in your mood, your ability to sleep through the night… the list goes on. Training is awesome. But am I really training anymore?

People used to ask me what I was training for, and I used to get annoyed, laugh it off and say, “For life,” and I think I even said that in my “Phase I: Phasing Out of Sport” blog. But the question started to weigh on me, and still does. I moved to a new city and started a new job and felt a little broken for having not ended up as I had planned at this time in my life. Motivation began to dwindle, but I kept powering through… up until a point.

I made a new friend at work, and as I continuously turned down making plans with him because I had to get a workout in or I had a run scheduled for that afternoon, he looked at me one afternoon and asked me, “What are you running from?”

I was taken back. I didn’t know how to answer. At the time I think I laughed and said, “Uhh, I don’t know. Nothing. I just like to run. It’s good for you.” Moments later in my head I answered to myself and said, “Everything, I’m running from everything.”

Around the time I started training for sport, call it age 12 against my will and age 14 willingly, that was when I learned that training served two purposes for me. 1) To be stronger than everyone else I was competing against/ to develop as an athlete and 2) To cope with the stresses of my life, to focus my energy on my body and let go of everything else for the 1-3 hours that I spend exercising.

“What are you running from?”

The question still sits in my head. When my career ended, I lost an entire half of my motivation to train. And with that, I lost about 50% of the time I could spend training. I retired from my sport and I still poured myself into training because it felt like all I had left. When I first moved to Kansas City, I didn’t have a job. I was putting 20 hours a week into training until I couldn’t even function normally. Too painful to walk, too painful to lay down. Cramps all the time, everywhere. When I tried to keep this up after getting a full time job, working overtime hours, and putting any moment of extra time I had into developing this business, I started to burn out and didn’t even know it. My diet fell off track. I went from running 20+ miles a week to maybe running 4. I could not possibly train how I had been training and work the hours I was working and still sleep. All the while I’m in a community full of people who were not college athletes and they don’t understand. They ask me questions about why I workout so much, why I eat how I do, and even why I want to. I’ve had questions like, “You’re a woman, why do you want to be so muscular?” They passed judgement. They made me question myself. They made me ask myself what I was running from. I let my circumstances get in the way of my focus.

So I’m not motivated to train because it will make me a successful athlete because I’m retired, that’s impossible. I still love the way training makes me feel, but I don’t love being exhausted working 16 hour shifts after I’ve had to wake up at 4am to get my lift in before work. I don’t love the stress eating that ensues after that type of day. I don’t love putting weight back on that I lost after track because of this cycle.

Now I’m motivated to break the cycle. Make changes, try something new, do something else. Anything else. Make it make sense and move forward. Remind myself that I am not a muggle, the haters can say what they want – I am a creature designed to test my body by way of diet, exercise, and mindfulness.

Today I started a Whole30. Today I started a 30 day yoga journey. Today I started a new weights and running program that I wrote to be more fitting for my new work/life schedule. I am motivated to take better care of myself. I am motivated by the way it makes me feel to crush workouts, runs, and yoga sessions. I am motivated to be fit, healthy, and happy.

I am not running from anything. I am running for myself. I am still training for life, it’s just a little different.

Ready to run for you? Let’s do a free mini session and talk about what that looks like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *