Hahahaha – so, it turns out I am terrible at routines. I know this, and yet I keep trying.
So… I was doing well with the whole daily wake up, work out with yoga or punching bag or whatever thing and running 3 days a week with my crew – until the time change. That SLAYED me. Like, straight up murdered me. I have not woken up for yoga a single time since the time change hit. Literally not once.
However – I am still running, and have even added an extra day to my running routine. When I can. Which isn’t always. Partly because I am bad at routines, but also because life continues to be on fire.
But, here are some things I have learned over the past month (or 6 weeks, or however long it’s been since I posted about exercise):
- Exercise keeps me sane. Much more than helping me get or stay fit, or be some weird imaginary ideal size/shape or weight – running has kept me from going over the edge mentally. I cannot overstate how true this has been especially in the past month. I am not okay – but running has made it possible for me to keep trying.
- Running works best for me right now because it is “easy” – all I have to do is put on shoes and go. And even that is semi-optional. In the past month, I have run in jeans (forgot my leggings), in a skirt (forgot my leggings), and in slip on sneakers with no support and no tread (forgot my shoes). While none of them were the best/most comfortable I’d ever been – they were all better than not running. I can also do it at any time of day, in any location. That’s key for someone who sucks at routine.
- Running is helping me learn how to shut up the voices telling me I can’t. This is new for me. I used to not be successful at running alone because my brain was SO LOUD, and so aggressive and it would usually win because I have enough battles without having to fight myself every step and breath of the way as well. BUT – after running with my crew for a year, now I have their voices in my head too!! And now when my brain starts acting up and telling me to quit, their voices chime in and remind me that I can do this, I can keep going, we do it all the time. And it is SO MUCH EASIER to shut my brain up now and keep running! (Yay for imaginary team work!?!) It turns out – this transfers to other areas of my life when the “fraud police” show up to try to tell me I can’t, or I’m not good enough, or it’s not my turn, or… I can call up my friends, family and other support folk in my head and they will battle my mental demons for me and help me sit down and Do The Thing. (Related – I just applied for grad school with the help of my internal cheerleaders! Thanks team!)
- Having tangible goals, that I paid for, helps me keep going. Again, this month has been HARD to motivate through. Luckily for me, I have good friends who send me links to cool races – so, I signed up for my second ever trail run. A 5K on a Friday after work. Knowing it was coming up helped me stay motivated when I wanted to just sleep in, or go home early, or do anything but run. Also, I nailed it. I felt really good on the course and cannot wait to run another one. (So drop a link in the comments if you know of any fun 5 or 10K runs coming up in Colorado!)
- It’s important to be generous with yourself. As I mentioned, this has been a hard month. I haven’t been able to make all of the scheduled runs. Sometimes when I did, I was the “demotivational friend” who needed to walk parts. Other times I was the push everyone harder friend who needed to crank the miles out and beat my brain into submission with the rhythmic pounding of our feet. What I love about my running crew, is that we all show up as we are, and we all try to meet each other where we are each day. That flexibility and acceptance from my crew, has helped me to be more accepting and flexible with myself. It’s okay to do what you can when you can, and forgive yourself when you can’t.
I’m hoping to keep up my non-routine of running when I can, and get back into some yoga. Though, now that it’s almost boating season, I might just trade in my yoga mat for sunburns and clear water!
I think that’s been the biggest lesson of this month – and it’s the one Adriene always tells us – “Find what feels good” and do that!