Monday, September 20, 2010

all limitations are self-imposed

Happy Fall!! Happy new season! Perhaps it can be seen as a happy new beginning? I'll be honest, I'm surprised I remembered my password (well it took me about five minutes) because its been quite awhile since I actually sat down to write my thoughts for the good old blog world. But let's not dwell on the negative, THE BLOG IS BACK, so let's move forward shall we? Because I've started running!! Yep, you read that correctly, I started running!! Always wanted to be "runner", never thought I could.

Okay, okay, let's not kid ourselves, I've been jogging for a few minutes but I've started a program where you add on to the amount of time you run each week until you get to the 9th week when you are hopefully jogging/running for thirty minutes straight (not sure what happens after that, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself, since I just finished week 2). I then decided I would post my distance and times on my facebook page to continue to motivate myself, and I got some mixed reviews (including a few comments, that were supposedly written for "encouragement" but to me, were anything but). And I started to feel bad about myself and embarrassed about my time, and then stupid for posting it at all.

But then I started to get some really supportive comments. Like the one from my dear friend Ashley who said "don't listen to them Jean Ann!! Everyone started from somewhere. I started running at age 30 and it took me three weeks to be able to run a mile straight. And you know I just completed my first Olympic Triathlon this year!! My run pace, after swimming a mile and biking 25, was about a 10 minute mile, for six miles. Just go girl!!" And Pete, an old friend from high school who reminded me to not "listen to anyone giving you crap about time / distance. You're not running a race against them. Start small, listen to your body and keep at it. Looking forward to seeing more updates! :)"
Thank God for supportive people!

I know it won't happen in a week, which is why I'm starting out small and adding on each week. And as I was jogging along at my (very) slow pace it hit me, the idea that I wasn't a runner came from me and I'm the only one who can change that. And if I can do this, I can change anything else that I didn't think I was, or could be, or could do! What I think about running is a metaphor for all the other limitations that I have placed upon myself. The fact that I think I'm not pretty enough to be on TV/film, or that I don't have the vocal range to be on Broadway or any other negative thought that has jumped from my mind, crossed into my real life and thus has affected my career in a less than positive way came from me. And since I was the one who placed these things out there, I'm the only one that can change them!! Just like running, I'll have to start small, but I believe I'll do it!

I'll leave you with a video that another high school friend/runner, Suzanne, posted on her Facebook page that was so inspiring (God what did we do before you FB?)! I think it's not only about running but about doing anything that you've wanted to do but have let your limiting beliefs about yourself stop you. So what do you want to do? Decide and then take Ashley's advice and "Just go girl" or boy!! Just do it! :)


SDM said...

Jean Ann,

Thanks for the shout out!

Seriously, you should be proud of yourself. There is no one in the world (except maybe Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes) who just started running and running and running and running with seemingly no effort. As the running cliche goes: it is a marathon, not a sprint.

I ran cross country in high school and played lacrosse, but years of being lazy and 20-something (drinking, smoking, blah blah blah) took its toll and I was way out of shape.

When my daughter was 15 months old I realized that I couldn't blame my blobbiness (yes, it is a word) on "I just had a baby!" and so I joined a gym. It was there I started running on the treadmill after 10 years of not running at all. I did 5 minutes walk, 5 minutes jog. Slowly, I walked less and jogged more. I will never forget the first time I ran 5 miles straight--I was so proud!

Soon I hit the roads again and started entering local 5K's. I got faster and faster and fell more and more in love with running! I actually started running faster at age 28 than I was running at 16 and 17 years old! I also started to bring home the hardware which I proudly displayed to show how far I'd come from that loser chainsmoking at the bar to super-fit mommy! I was proud of my trophies and medals!

After a stress fracture and 2 more babies sidelined me for 3+ years, I am back to running again. AND IT IS HARD!! But I know if I stick with it, I will so those benefits again. Running has given me such confidence and I know I am setting a good example for my children. Every time I huff and puff up the hills in my neighborhood, I am proud of myself. And I know if you stick with it, you'll be proud to call yourself a runner too!!!

Ashley said...

Love you Jean Ann. I'm happy my words helped you! Likewise, I really like your concept that you are limiting yourself by your own descriptions of yourself. I can STILL be anything that I want to be! I'm with you. And I can't wait to sign up for a race with you!