Honor Where You Are

As an opening I’d just like to say, life moves so quickly. As a 24 year old, I never saw this age coming. 25 was always my old, scary age and here I am just 6 months shy of it. I say this because as I was getting ready to write this post I realized a week had already passed. I have spent a big chunk of my life looking back at the past and not being able to let go of certain situations. The last 7 months after losing my grandma, the most important person in my life, I have learned more lessons than I thought possible and learned more about myself than I ever could have imagined. I try really hard to not look too far into the future, worry less, and enjoy the day to day no matter how stressful it may be. It has been the hardest 7 months of my life without her, but somehow I am standing taller than ever before.

Pertaining to fitness, I’ve been trying to enjoy every run and stop worrying about the fact that I’m slower than a lot of people I know that run, because when you get right down to it- I am not a competitive runner and never will be. Running is so personal and amazing to me and I know what it does for me. I know we are all guilty of comparing, but I really am over it and fed up. Last year I over trained and ended up not being able to run for most of the winter. I did too much speed work and always ran every run hard and fast, because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Anything around a 10:00 minute/mile? Way too slow. Yet I had only been running for a year. What did I know about running?! And I only ran 1 race last year! Since taking time off and getting back into running more this past June, I’ve learned that I do my best when I take it slower and easier. I make sure my heart rate is up and pumping, but I also know that every time I attempt sprints whether outside or on the treadmill, I end up with shin splints or my IT band and knee flaring up in pain. I can’t compare my own unique legs and body to that of someone who is able to sprint and always run fast. I truly believe that some people are made for speed, and some for distance. Very few people are lucky enough to be built for both. I will take distance runs over speedy runs any day, and I am learning to accept that as my journey as a runner continues. Never to say that one day I might be running 8 minute miles, but that’s not the case right now without causing injuries along the way. No need to compare our strengths and weaknesses to others; we all have many of both, all different.

I went to a yoga class this morning because my body and mind was begging for it. I’ve been really sore all week from not enough stretching, which has caused pain in my IT band and knees all week. While only my second yoga class, I find myself falling in love. It’s such a good challenge because I’m not very coordinated, balanced or flexible. Yoga is a class where it is very easy to compare yourself to others. The instructor today was so amazing and stressed the importance of honoring where you are in your own practice. That resonated to me for not just the hour long yoga class, but in life. Just because some of the people in the room can do headstands and eagle pose like they’ve been doing it out of the womb yet I can’t hold tree pose for 5 seconds doesn’t mean I’m any less of a person. Everyone has a beginning. Everyone is at a different place in their journey. Don’t let someone with more money, more love, a better job or anything you perceive to be more than what you have make you feel like you are less. Easier said than done but apply it to something simple the way I did today with that yoga class and running. It’s not easy and definitely not a sudden fix, but practicing it will make it more natural.

Tomorrow would have been my beautiful grandma’s 85th birthday. She was one to always appreciate what she had, no matter how little, and not let what others had around her get her down. I believe that the way she treated people (so amazingly, so caring, selfless) and the love that surrounded her was enough for her to be happy. I miss her more and more each day, but I know she is guiding me to be the person I am becoming.

September 2011

 

Last Thanksgiving together, November 2011

Happy Birthday in heaven, Grandma.

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