It had been a few weeks since I had seen my running coach.
The last time I saw him he said he was really impressed with running these days and that he was proud of me.
I’ve been what I call a ‘slow and steady’ runner for all those years, but lately, thanks to our coach Ken, I’m starting to believe that I can push myself to run faster & be a stronger runner than I may have thought I could.
So to hear his praise of how hard I was working to create a new relationship to running had me feeling really seen.
The day after that I left for a few trips (including Nashville) and the heat and busyness of travel had me very behind in my running.
Now, I’m not running for weight loss or even to change my body in any way. I’ve been running for about 8 years now and I love the way it helps me feel emotionally balanced, mentally healthy, physically strong and of course that it gets me outside. Plus I’ve been making some amazing friendships through it!
Then three weeks later, I felt like…yet again, I had self-sabatoged and messed up.
As usual at our track night, he asked what I’d be running tonight and what I ran last time.
“I think you are going to be disappointed in me” I said.
“I only ran 4 x 800′s last week”.
“Are you kidding me Vivienne?” He said “How could I possibly be disappointed in you? I’ve seen how far you’ve come from the beginning. You could never disappoint me”.
I started running that nights track laps with those words on my mind.
It got me thinking about how in all sorts of areas of our lives, it is so easy to look at the recent past and think about who we have ‘messed up’ and might be disappointed in ourselves. Yet if we look at how far we’ve come, we might be able to see it differently.
It makes me think of our path of self-love and self-compassion and how easy it is to get in a bad mind-space one day and feel like we are back to the beginning. But we aren’t.
Or how we might not be able to make peace with one part of our body (like our belly) but if we reflect on our body-love journey as a whole, we have so much to cheer ourselves on about.
And it reminds me of those moments when I run Be Your Own Beloved folks will miss a day of class and get really down on themselves and I want to say “Don’t you see how far you’ve come already this month?”
Much like in the case of running…I wasn’t necessarily going to see that myself as I had my self-critique blinders on. Sometimes really listening to other people’s kind perceptions of us and our path can invite in big breakthroughs or help us see ourselves kindly through their eyes.
Is there someone in your life that you could entrust to ask the question “Will you help me reflect on how far I’ve come” in an aspect of your life that you may be down on yourself about? Maybe how far you’ve come on finding forgiveness about a certain issue? Or about your relationship to seeing yourself with kindness?
Or perhaps there are folks around us who are already offering those kinds of thoughts to us, and we can invite ourselves to take off our self-critique blinders and really listen to their insights about our path.
For those of you who take selfies & self-portraits too, it can be pretty powerful to look back on our journey in the photos we take and revisit some very early selfies to look at the woman we were then and observe some of the ways we’ve come so far!
Want to join me in taking the space today to ask a friend or partner’s insight on this idea? Or to reflect on it through photos or even through looking at old journals?
Let’s pause to be proud of ourselves.
Let’s take a moment to put aside being hard on ourselves and to bring voice to the ways we’ve come so far already in our journeys?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so don’t hesitate to chime in via the comments!