Weird title this week eh? At first glance it sounds negative, I know. I assure you though, that it is meant in a positive way. Like you know, when someone gives up smoking, that is a positive thing. Or when someone stops caring about fast food. You get the idea. So let’s get on with it shall we?
I must start out by saying that the past two days have been phenomenally beautiful days weather wise. That in itself is a huge positive. I have come to realize that I have pretty severe Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) 😦 I actually bought a “Happy Lamp” that emits high powered light that is suppose to emulate time in the sun. Does it work? I guess it doesn’t hurt any. The fact that I was able to run outside most of the month of January was a big plus as well. February- not so much. I really felt that I was falling behind on my ultra training in February which just added to my er, “cloudy disposition.” Not to mention the fact that things going on in my personal life have been less than ideal. But in the midst of it all, I stopped caring and I gave up.
I stopped caring that I chose to not go outside and run in the ice & snow. Hey, I’m a month away from 51 years young and the Boston Marathon. I wasn’t about to risk going out there and injuring myself and not being able to run…period. So I gave up and spent A LOT of time on the treadmill. I gave up on following the training schedule to the “inth” degree and stopped caring that it was what others deemed as ideal and modified it to my lifestyle. It has worked out fine. Last week I ran 31 miles-the longest ever in my life, in a little less that six hours-11:08 pace. Today I was able to negative split a four miler with my fourth mile at 7:39 pace. I cross train/strength train as time permits on my non running days, usually three days a week. I gave up on trying those nonsense 30 day challenges because they just don’t work for me! I stopped caring that I couldn’t mark each day off on the calendar like a kid waiting for Christmas…bah humbug! I also gave up on trying to EVER believe I would look like one of those fitness models with perfectly chiseled abs/glutes/quads/biceps/triceps. I stopped caring that that just doesn’t work for me. I stopped caring about the opinions of others about how skinny I am, how small my boobs are, how boney my butt is, how much I run, how ungracefully I run, how I dress when I run…ad NAUSEUM! Because you know what? It just doesn’t matter! As long as I am happy with who I am (and I am), that is what is important. Which leads me to the topic of opinions.
Opinions are neither right nor wrong, they are simply that-opinions. Not too many people can base their opinions on scientific fact. Some people just rudely have the need to be “right.” People have their preferences. I gave up on trying to convince some folks of why I do what I do. They will never understand because they have a different history than I. I stopped caring about what they thought of me. In the grand scheme of things, it is highly insignificant. If they’re not feeding me or financing me, their opinion means very little. But they’re still entitled to it. I respect their opinion and I expect the same in return. I have an opinion on selfies such as why people take so many of themselves and feel the need to expose body parts. Doesn’t mean I am wrong or right. I am not a psychiatrist. Does that mean I am being negative? I hardly think so, as I find most of it highly humorous….and I do enjoy humor.
This matter of opinion extends into every area of our lives. Where some prefer Pepsi, others prefer Coke. You may like coffee, others may like tea. Then there is Folgers or Maxwell House, Lipton or Luzianne! Does it really matter? A preference is a preference. Just today I bought a drill. I listened to the opinions of others and ended up with one I am perfectly happy with, given the fact I am not a carpenter and don’t intend on using it to build a house. I picked it out and bought it with the money I worked for. That fact alone gives me the freedom to not give a flying fart about what others think. If they paid for it, it might matter…but they DID NOT! I am also going to pick out and buy a riding lawn mower of my choice that will suit my needs. I am woman, hear me roar. There are still far too many people who think the opinion and decisions of women are insignificant. We have allowed ourselves to be devalued and exploited. I had a nurse friend who was told to “be quiet and just sit there and look pretty because that was what she was good at.” That makes me furious. As if just because she was pretty, her knowledge did not matter-her “looks” were the card she was suppose to play. Women…WAKE UP!
One of the pitfalls of social media is getting caught up in opinionated mumbo jumbo and adolescent jargon (my opinion). I gave up on following insignificant/irrelevant posts and stopped caring about most, if not all that are not about running or health be it through twitter, facebook or youtube. All of that other crap is mentally draining and doesn’t grow me. I have grown to be quite fond of the “mute” button on twitter.
Today has been an epiphany of sorts for me. I got out and did what I wanted to do, bought what I wanted to buy, and met new people. Today was very freeing. I suppose that is why I love running so much. People can bring you up or tear you down. We live with what we allow into our lives. People will treat you the way you let them treat you, or rather-we teach people how to treat us. What are you allowing to consume your heart, mind, and life?
Until We Meet Again,
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus