Focusing on the negative. (Expert level)

The first kilometer of the running route from my house starts on a very semi-steep uphill. Because of this, I usually use the first kilometer to ‘warm up’ and walk. But my running has been getting stronger and one afternoon, I found myself managing to run the entire kilometer without stopping. I was thrilled! When I reached the top at the swimming school, my heart felt like it would jump out of my chest, more from happiness than exertion. I could not stop smiling. My inner voice was saying, “Well done Bron!” Best . Feeling. Ever!

Two minutes later, another runner caught up to me and we started making conversation. We exchanged pleasant neighborhood chatter and discussed some of our road races. A few minutes had passed and I was enjoying running with her when out of the blue, she said, “Well, nice to have met you. Enjoy the rest of your run, I need to get going and run a little faster. I need to get home before the sun sets.” And off she ran…

That’s when all the negative thoughts flooded my head:

Before the sun sets? What the…? Yes, because I’m so slow, right? No one wants to run with you Bron. No one! You’re too slow!

When she was out of sight, I slowed down (even more) and was still grumbling to myself when I suddenly thought back to how my run had started. I had managed to run up to the swimming school without walking. That was a great moment and it was brilliant! So then how the hell did I manage to allow my run to dip into such a negative mood. Why did it become all about my speed? How did I go so quickly from celebrating reaching a goal to focus on one of my biggest running insecurities?

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Lesson learnt: It’s an area I need to work on. Breaking myself down happens so quickly and so easily. It’s destructive. I need to focus on my achievements and stop obsessing on the negative. I’m proud of myself. I ran the first kilometer from home all the way up the hill, to the swimming school, for the first time, without walking. Yeah! That’s what I want to take out of that run. Because that’s what counts!

(Image from Google)

8 thoughts on “Focusing on the negative. (Expert level)

  1. Oh my greatness! There’s a serious hill in Craighall towards the end of my run that always trumps me, but I manage to get just a little further every few weeks, I’m excited to get up it all the way without breaking down into a stumbling mess, I’ll try that little bit harder this afternoon after reading this!

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  2. You need to think back to when you started…..and to where you are today and not (STOP) measure yourself against anyone else. You are uniquely you and that’s what I dearly love about you and so proud of you. XXXX

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  3. You made it up the hill, you made it up the hill (sang that) Well done. And I agree with the above, nobody can keep up with absolutely everyone, well I guess there is probably 1 guy that can but then he probably has an Olympic gold or something

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  4. Great job on making it up the hill! I always enjoy making it up a massive hill that I’d never been able to run up before.

    You definitely seem to have the right perspective now about your negative experience. It’s not always easy to be like that right while it’s happening, but try to be in the moment! Who cares what other people think. If you were cycling down the street and Lance Armstrong chatted with you for a bit and then said, “OK, I’ve gotta speed up now, this is way too slow for me!” you wouldn’t feel bad. Or, at least, you shouldn’t. He’s on a completely different level than an average person.

    Similarly, you don’t know where this other runner was at in their training!

    Oh well, you seem to have the right attitude now.

    Again, congrats; and good luck on future runs.

    – James

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