Oh. Hi, there.
You know, a few years back, I was blogging pretty regularly – running a lot, working on cruise ships (thus the name, “I Run on Water”) and generally being a woman-about-town.
That last part’s not true – I’m a homebody.
A lot has changed. My blogging got more sporadic, my blog account with GoDaddy expired taking with it a couple of years worth of articles. My commitment to running (and my weight) fluctuated.
We moved from Canada to the US so I could study directing. I got a job directing, then I promptly quit that job.
Let’s be honest, I spent about a year feeling like a failure. Like, for real. Even before I quit the job I’d worked so hard to earn – as I sat in the chair being offered the job, I thought “This isn’t right. I’m not ready for this.” I spun my wheels, I grabbed at sand, clenching harder to try and grasp it, but I just kept proving to myself that I didn’t deserve the job, that I wasn’t good enough for it – I honestly don’t even recognize that person, looking back. The internal panic, the straight up panic attacks that I had to pretend weren’t happening during rehearsals with actors . I don’t blame the actors for not trusting me. I didn’t trust myself.
I didn’t feel like I could reach out for help because I thought that would prove I didn’t know what I was doing, and I should know what I was doing. And so I failed. Hard. Greg tells me that it’s not a failure entirely of my own making. He’s very nice, but I’ll always feel deep down that it is.
So what does this have to do with running?
Last summer, I decided that I needed to do something about my outer self to help heal my inner self. And so I set a goal to run at least a 5K every month for the season. I love running races. It’s a fun way to be out with people, but it’s totally reasonable to be by yourself at the same time. You’re doing something with people, alone. Perfect. I needed fun, so I kept it to 5K and 10K races so I wouldn’t feel the pressure that comes along with longer training plans. Each race I got a little bit faster.
Sure enough, I started having fun.
Then I joined Weight Watchers with my husband, Greg, and the weight started falling off! I started thinking about nutrition and what my body deserved and my spirits started to lift.
I did a run streak, running at least a mile every day for the month of September, proving to myself that I was capable of sticking to a goal and following through.
Then I did it again for the Runner’s World Run Streak, this time for the period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
I started feeling less broken, replaying regrets over in my mind in the shower with less and less frequency.
Greg and I started a podcast about Weight Watchers called “Watchin’ Weight with Tab & Greg” and we developed a community: Other people on the program who were looking for people to share their journey, tips, and tricks! What a joy! The podcast helped me realize that my voice has value.
Both Greg and I have achieved Lifetime status on Weight Watchers, meaning we’ve hit (and maintained our goal).
Then I cast my eyes higher.
We ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in the spring and crushed it.
I broke 30 minutes in a 5K, something I never thought I’d be able to do.
I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon in Chicago in under 2:30, something else I never thought I’d be able to do.
I raised my eyes once again.
I’m running the TCS NYC Marathon in November. I’m very excited. I have run several marathons in the past, but I know this is a challenging one. But for the first time as a runner, I feel like I’m actually up to the challenge (or at least I will be).
After that, it’s the Dopey Challenge in January at Walt Disney World.
Am I “fixed”? I wouldn’t exactly call it that. I still have rough patches, and I still think about things I should have done differently in those rehearsals, for example, or question why I am where I am, but it’s less frequent. I have a plan to embrace what’s good for me going forward, and to purge that which isn’t good for me. That may lead to some surprising positive changes.
And hey, at least I’m writing again.
How do you deal with negative thoughts? Any tips for self-care?