Saturday morning I went out for an early run around 6:30 am. I’m trying to get back into a “routine” as much as I can right now and waking up on a Saturday to do one of my most favorite things has honestly been an actual pure delight.
Before you head straight to, “She’s crazy! Who wakes up at 6 am on a Saturday to run?” let me explain…
I have a very non-traditional work schedule. I balance owning my own therapy practice with being the lead instructor at a cycling studio. Every day is unique. Each week is different. And to be honest, it has been hard for me to adjust these past couple of years. I don’t get Saturdays off because I choose to teach a couple classes that morning.
It’s not all horrible though. There are a great number of benefits to my current schedule, and for that, I wouldn’t change a thing. However, one thing I’ve always loved- that I now miss- is the early morning. I’m talking about the “before I have to think about getting to work” morning. I love everything about it. The air feels cooler, the sounds are softer, and the pace of movement feels much slower.
Most days I have to be somewhere between 5:30 and 6 am and sometimes I don’t get done until 8/8:30 pm. So, when I have early morning time for myself I take full advantage.
What I’m trying to explain here is, I’m not crazy for waking up at 6 am to run on a Saturday. I look at it as, I’m being kind to myself. I know that there is something that feels good for me and creates joy in my life and I make the necessary steps to have the space to do that thing. This isn’t about me having a lot of motivation to workout. It’s about knowing what is important to me and allowing myself to experience that.
Doing what is important to you even when it isn’t easy is a way to be kind and loving toward yourself.
When I get to take a longer run a lot of times I will play music that allows me to hear just enough of a rhythm to keep my feet moving so I can pay more attention to the thoughts that I have been shoving in the back of my head.
I had a lot happen this week, so I had a lot of thoughts to pull from the back of my head. This week I overbooked myself emotionally and physically. Thus, on this particular run, I spent a couple miles of traction sorting through why I’ve allowed myself to become so “busy” lately.
I’m super intune to when I am stressed and when I am calm. I can tell when I’m overwhelmed and when I feel at ease. This week I knew I was going to be hanging onto every last bit of energy I could find to make it through, but remember, I am my own boss. I MAKE MY OWN SCHEDULE. I allowed myself to walk into this week this way. This was a picture of me being unkind to myself at its best.
This week I found myself living in a scarcity mindset. I would assume some of you have experienced this and you may not even realize it because you don’t know what it means. Lemme tell ya…
This is living with the mentality that there will never be enough thus, more is always better. When this happens your actions stem from a place of lacking and your boundaries become obsolete.
Like, if I say no to this client this week I’ll never get another one.
I need to go one this date this week because if I don’t I’ll never find my husband.
I have to buy this now even though I have 5, or it may be gone when I do need more.
I must take this phone call even though I have shit to do because what if we don’t get a chance to talk again.
Basically, I have to do it all, and have it all, and find it all, and get it all right now because I’m afraid if I don’t take this now- I’ll lack something I want later.
We ALL have unfulfilled needs. However, we don’t all live in a scarcity mindset.
As I continued to uncover the things that feel unfulfilled right now and why I feel this intense need to fill them immediately I began to sideline that with another thought.
If I was able to move out of scarcity and into a place where I believed things would work out, where would I place all my extra time?
Back in the day- I use to run races all the time. Like once a month or so. I loved them so much. I haven’t run any kind of race in over a year and it’s mainly because I just run less in general now. This is one of the ways I have been unkind to myself. My scarcity mindset moved me to a place of “too busy for things that bring me pure joy.” My pursuit of my unfulfilled need of “X” created a hole for my unfulfilled need of “Y”.
Well, my very very good friend Taylor and her sister are running the St. Jude half and full in December. I very clearly felt a desire to join them when she told me about it. I decided this Saturday morning that if I was able to open up more time for things that I truly want I would run this race.
Then I started to think how different running races would be for me now, rather than how it was when I started running about 7 or 8 years ago. Immediately I thought, well I’d be much slower.
In 2013, I ran the Nashville Full in 3:56 minutes. At that time I think my PR for a half was 1:42 and for a 10k something around 46 minutes. I wasn’t the fastest but I was pretty damn fast for an amateur.
What most people don’t know is that I also was in the midst of an eating disorder and struggling with exercise addiction.
As I’ve moved away from my disease, and found some healing, the past 7 years have actually been really good years. They’ve been really tough years at times too, though. I have had to acknowledge a lot of pain, open my eyes up to things, and dig into things that often did not feel good. A lot of my life was spent relishing in the positive- the glass half full- the yea but look at it this way… I always just thought I was optimistic. However, I wasn’t choosing to be optimistic- I was choosing to be blind.
As I did the hard work and forced myself to acknowledge some things about my life (aka open my eyes) I now carry things that I didn’t ever want to carry.
I don’t mean I’m holding on to resentments or beliefs about myself and the world that aren’t serving me… That’s a whole different blog 🙂
I mean I am carrying awareness of uncomfortable emotions and the hard truths of life that I cannot change and cannot control.
I have more awareness and experience of reality in my life and I can’t get rid of this.
There is just more stuff now.
I used to spend a lot of my time trying to physically take up less space and become smaller. I just believed that things would be better if I was carrying less weight. And, I’ll admit, it did allow me to run pretty fast. However, at the risk of sounding cliché, what I didn’t know was that I wasn’t just running fast in these races. I was running fast away from who I was created to be. I was hyper focussed on getting somewhere so I could feel something better than what I was feeling in the moment. I was afraid to hold the weight of who I was because I was more concerned about moving at pace that would impress people rather than being someone that would leave an impression on people.
When we choose a path of dissociation from truth we bypass a lot of roads that are crucial in getting us not to where we are going- but to who we are supposed to be when we get there.
You see, we all can reach a finish line. Like- (not to be a downer but…) we are all going to die one day right? Right. We can all live a life. But not all of us become who we were created to be.
The smaller I made myself I feel like the more of me I was rejecting. Which is why I needed the validation of being fast. And again, I didn’t love all of the aha moments I have had throughout my journey. There are parts of me that I still wish could be different. But I can acknowledge that and then accept that they don’t NEED to be different. Different wouldn’t give me any higher of a score on a worthiness scale.
I’ve had to wrestle that statement… A lot. It doesn’t seem fair a lot of times. I’m a therapist who willingly and happily goes to see her own therapist. I don’t know how many times in the last year, I’ve yelled out something along the lines of, “I don’t get why I have to deal with this.” I’ve gotten really angry with God recently and at times I have felt true disdain toward His “purpose” for me.
What it usually comes down to after I cool off is this:
Having more to carry isn’t a bad thing. It’s a more challenging thing- but it’s not bad. We get caught up in the idea, “Well if I have more weight, my pace will be slower.” But like, why does that matter?
Really, I want you to ask yourself, “Why does your pace matter so much?”
Six years ago- it was the BIGGEST deal for me to run that marathon in under 4 hours. And I know why. Because I wanted affirmation and validation that I was doing a good job in my life. I lived in a scarcity mindset then too. Like if I don’t run this fast as hell then I won’t get all the affirmation I need to make it to the next thing that will validate my existence.
I had an unfulfilled need of feeling wanted, and was hustling for my wantedness.
Did I mention I ran that race on a sprained ankle? I remember a couple days before the race my uncle called me. He said, “Kathryn, do you want to run on Saturday or do you want to run for the rest of your life?”
I don’t know who needs to hear this right now but, you’re meant to move forward for the rest of your life.
We aren’t supposed to get places really fast and then stop. We are meant to move, and move, and move until it’s over. It’s not about how fast you get there, it’s about getting YOU there.
Could I run a race tomorrow? Yes. Would I run it like I did 7 years ago? Not a chance.
Not just because my physical shape is any different. It is because I have more of everything these days… and yea it weighs me down.
BUT YES IT KEEPS ME GOING.
I get to be thankful for the slow down. You, too, get to be grateful that you have things to carry. Even if you didn’t want them. Even if you still don’t want them. Because it’s not about speed anymore. It’s about movement. It’s about the fact that you are FOREVER going to be moving so the rush… it doesn’t exist. The rush to get to the finish, it is made up in your head. There is no rush.
Someone once told me that if I was ever going to learn to love myself I had to get real with the idea of getting to know that person.
The more I got to know myself the more of myself I was capable of carrying. And the more I started to carry the less my speed mattered. The scarcity went away. And it really started to feel good to be me when I was not comparing myself to those in front of and behind me.
When we make the decision to grab onto more of us- the less we feel unfulfilled in our pursuit of enoughness. That means, the more we feel fulfilled in our enoughness.
I don’t have to hustle for validation or wantedness. And you do not either.
And listen, sometimes I’m tired and carrying myself around is exhausting. Because I am so aware now that there is a lot of shit going on in my head all the time and I have to continually try to manage this.
But I am now moving knowing that my pace of movement doesn’t define anything. Which means I have nothing to prove here. I get to enjoy the run. Or maybe the slow jog.
Maybe you’re not a runner- but we all find ourselves running toward things at some point, trying to get to them as fast as possible. A job, a marriage, a house, a baby, a girlfriend, a spot on a team, or a seat in the lunchroom.
I had a specific client a couple years ago that always seemed to be in a huge rush to get her life together. She spent a couple months with me in a residential treatment center and there was always this hurry in her to get out and start this new life implementing all these new things at once. It felt like everyday her desire to go 0-100 doubled. I make up in head that once she saw how capable she was of living a full life, she just couldn’t wait to get there. Which for a therapist, is really exciting to see. However, I had to remind her about every other day,
When we rush things, we overlook things. When we take the long steady road, it ends up getting us wherever we are going faster than the risky bumpy road. If you take the latter, you’ll most likely end up in chaos. Chaos is a time thief. It robs us of the present moment we are supposed to have and forces us into a present moment that is made up of putting out fires that were never meant to be started.
There is no rush friends. This is your permission to slow down. This is your encouragement to grab onto the heaviness that scares you because you need all of you to make it to your final destination. We will get there, I promise.
I hope you get to take a slow jog, or a walk, or maybe even a crawl somewhere this week, repeating to yourself, “If I am moving, I am already doing enough.”