Thank you for believing in me.

18,181 days today.

18,181 days of breathing, moving, and living in this body.

I have an interesting relationship with this body. I ask a lot from it. I don’t always like it. It is not perfect. I make it run for long periods of time. I keep pushing it to give more, even when it is tired.

But lately we have been at odds with each other.

A few months ago, it let me down.

Yes, I know there are no bad runs, but recently there was a series of not great runs. A few times I had to stop, even during a race.

I began to doubt.

Words began to build up against my body.

Maybe you won’t be able to keep going.

Maybe this is what happens at “a certain age.”

Maybe I pushed you too far and we are winding down.

The words created distance between the two of us.

I could feel the distance, the disappointment, the disapproval.

Yesterday was a long run. I was nervous, and so was my body. We had a rough few weeks. We needed something to change.

So, I took the first step. I looked at the run history on my app and reminded my body of how many miles we ran. I reminded my body that we have run longer and in some of the most extreme weather. I reminded my body that it can do hard things. I reminded my body that I was not mad at it for the past few months.

Then something shifted. Everything felt lighter.

The run was not easy, but we kept going. Slow at first, building and finding our stride.

Then something happened about 2/3rd into the run. I actually heard my body speak. Softly at first, so soft that I almost dismissed it. But my body kept speaking until I could hear it.

“Thank you for believing in me.”

Even as I type these words a wave of emotion passes over me as it did while running.

I had replaced the frustration, the doubt, and the disappointment with belief. And my body responded. I was no longer fighting against it, but working with and encouraging it.

Since this moment I started to wonder how I can continue to show this belief internally, but also externally to those around me? Instead of frustration, doubt, and disappointment they may need belief from me as well.

So maybe, just maybe, it won’t just be my body who says, “Thank you for believing in me.”

The Tribes

Winter here has been weird.

In a week and a half, the temps have varied from 65 to 8.

Running has been a challenge.

Some days are cold, some are warm.

My body and my attitude has needed to adjust.

Luckily I am part of a Tribe.

The Running Tribe.

The Running Tribe spends time together.

The Running Tribe encourages each other.

The Running Tribe is a little weird.

The Running Tribe laughs together, especially while waiting around for the start of strange races that get us outside despite the weather.

Life can be weird.

In a week and a half, I can go from confident to insecure, happy to sad, encouraged to frustrated.

Leading can be a challenge.

Parenting can be a challenge.

Partnering can be a challenge.

Friendships can be a challenge.

Some days are cold, some are warm.

My body and my attitude has needed to adjust.

We need more Tribes.

Tribes for each challenge.

A Leadership Tribe.

A Parenting Tribe.

A Partnering Tribe.

A Friendship Tribe.

Find the Tribes.

Create the Tribes.

Join the Tribes.

Join My Tribes.

Let’s try doing these things together.

 

Recalibrating the GPS

It started as a simple conversation about running, pace, and times. We both opened up the app on our phones and talked about some of the struggles, successes, and challenges ahead while scrolling through the history.

Then it came out.

“I must need to recalibrate the GPS, I am not that fast.”

As I heard those words, I couldn’t help myself.

“Really? You have been training hard, staying on schedule, and when you make progress, why does your first thought assume something is wrong with the GPS? Why do you discount your achievements?”

Pause.

Another Pause.

“Well historically…”

“In the past…”

“I used to not…”

All of next few statements were not about the present reality, or celebrating the accomplishment. All were focused on the past.

Past limits. Past thoughts. Past obstacles.

I listened for a few minutes.

“Sounds like is not your GPS that needs recalibrating.”

When do you discount your achievements? When does your past invade the present to take away the things you accomplish? When does your first thought assume that it must be the equipment or a false reading because it cannot be you that reached the goal?

Maybe we could all use a recalibration.

Hard is Okay

“This is hard. I am not sure if I want to keep doing this.”

“This is hard, much more than I originally thought.”

“I was hoping it would get easier, but this is still hard.”

“Wow, making this change is hard.”

“Training for this [insert life event here] is hard.”

“Trying again is hard. What if I don’t [succeed, get into that school, get that job, get better, maintain that relationship, find the right career, learn to overcome this thing/fear/obstacle, bring value, find my path, finish well, make a difference]”insert any or all of these…

Multiple conversations. Similar statements.

Some statements are from customers or “coachees.” (Those being coached, is that even a word?)

Some statements are from my running partners.

Some statements are from friends.

Some statements are from my daughters who are either trying something for the first time, or pushing through with their life pursuits.

Some statements are my own.

What is an appropriate reply to all these words?

Stop trying? No.

Give up? No.

Easy is a better path? No.

Hard is okay.

It doesn’t mean that Hard is fun.

It doesn’t mean that we always enjoy Hard.

It doesn’t mean that Hard will be easy.

But maybe we can accept Hard for what it is.

Hard is okay.

 

 

What are you training for?

“What are you training for?”

A few years ago a friend posed this question when we decided to go out for a run together.

I wasn’t sure how to reply. I was just running. No plan, just running.

“Nothing really, I am just running.”

Their question stayed with me after that day. I couldn’t seem to shake it.

Later that day we talked about goal setting, and how important creating a set of goals can be to focus our lives, our activities, and our energy.

In the past year I set a goal to run a “longer than my normal” race.

A goal that would require discipline, time, and a plan.

A goal that would require activity despite the weather, feelings, or attitude.

A goal that would require moving past obstacles and fear.

That day is almost here, and the race will end. So will the training. My mind and body are looking forward to a little rest.

But, part of me doesn’t quite know what to do when the goal is complete. There is a strange sense of loss when you return to a normal routine after you have been pursuing hard after a goal. The training that once felt like a burden, is now savored because the end is near.

Maybe I just need to keep asking my friend’s question, but not limit it to running.

“What are you training for?”

Having an answer to that question for additional aspects of life may be just what we need.

 

But We Ran

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Running this winter has been hard. Layer upon layer. Attempts to cover every inch of exposed surfaces. Runs when temperatures dropped from single digits to zero and below before we ended.

But we ran.

The combination of record cold and record snow has combined to create what we are affectionately calling “winter fatigue.”

But we ran.

This has not been our fastest year. Many of our times have slowed. We became sick, tired, frustrated, injured, and cold.

But we ran.

We ran on days when it was dark. We ran on days when the wind almost stopped all forward progress.

But we ran.

Despite spring arriving on the calendar, we have had near record cold again. Winter seems to want to keep us in a state of hibernation. Days that should be in the 40s and 50s have been in the 30s.

But we ran.

What is coming our way next?

More weather, more illness, more injury, more road blocks, more [insert term here] issues?

I am not sure. There is only one thing I know for sure.

We will run.