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Confessions

June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!!

This morning my sister and I took my daddy out for breakfast in celebration of Fathers Day. Months ago, he and I had planned to run the half marathon together and we both started running and trying to train up for it. So what am I doing blogging when the marathon is going on right now?

It was a few weeks ago that we discussed the marathon and mutually agreed that neither of us had been training enough; we weren’t ready for this half marathon. And so we opted out of running it. But that’s not the only reason I decided not to run it.

I don’t enjoy running.

That statement isn’t entirely true. Once every couple weeks I’ll get in the mood for going for a run. Sometimes I love it. But for the most part, I find it boring and I just don’t have fun with it. And now we come to another question: why did I want to run the half marathon in the first place if I don’t really like running that much?

Over the years I’ve done small amounts of running. I ran cross country in elementary school and a few years ago I started running a lot in the summer. Then, a year or so later, I started running for short intervals on the treadmill when I joined a gym. I stopped for about a year, until this past January, when I began to run 3 times a week at the gym, for an hour at a time, running a 10-minute mile. It only took me one week to increase my time from half an hour to an hour. And I hadn’t ran in months.

When it comes to fitness, it is my number one outlet for stress and intense emotion. I exercise much better when I’m angry or upset; my energy reserves are fantastic. And at the beginning of January, when my then-boyfriend broke up with me after we had been dating for a year, I was very full of this kind of energy (remember that I’m only 19, so a year-long relationship is important and a very long amount of time for me!). Running, writing, and my nutrition course provided the outlet I needed to deal with the issue, and I spent the next few months following the break up running like a fiend. There were times when I’d begin to lean towards borderline exercise dependency, orthorexia, disordered eating, and depression, too; sometimes they’d be more prominent and other times they’d have little or no impact on me whatsoever.

But more recently, I started losing interest in running. The energy wasn’t there. The emotion wasn’t so strong. The slight depression had faded. And I’d stopped needing to run to deal with the issue.

When I realized that I no longer needed to run to deal with the hurt, I realized that it was no longer necessary for me to do so. I had nothing more to prove and I needed to start running for the right reasons. So now that I have managed to come to terms with it, I know that every time I go running it’ll be because I want to run and no other reason than that. It’ll be for enjoyment, the same way that I go to boot camp in the pouring rain because I love it and for the same reason that I took up belly dancing and have started doing pilates on my own time. I don’t want to be a slave to my emotions; I intend to do what I want to do for the pleasure of it. And so today I am not running the half marathon- I don’t believe that I’d be running it for the right reasons. My fitness challenges and goals lie elsewhere, in activities that I have a true passion for.

Living healthfully is all about finding the right reasons and understanding our motives and goals. It is possible to be healthy in an unhealthy way, such as if you have orthorexia. Obsessions can sometimes turn a good thing into a bad. But now that I have come to terms with my issues, I am making doubly sure that I am being healthy in a healthy way. And that makes me happy and energized, just as it should.

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend and thanks for sticking with me until the end of this post. I really appreciate it. Especially as it took me slightly longer to write on my cute little new laptop with its tiny keyboard:) (Go check it out- isn’t it gorgeous? Look how small it is- thats a persons hand holding it up!). I feel better for having explained all of this.

20 comments

  1. Good for you to not run the half marathon if your heart wasn’t into it… i have too many friends who are obsessed w/ exercising, but not because they like to do it, so I give you tons of kudos for listening to your body & mind!!! Have a great Father’s Day w/ your dad!


  2. This is my first time reading your blog and I just wanted to say, I REALLY admire you. It’s nice to find a blog where someone is being true to themselves and not obsessed with what people tell us we “should” do. Keep being true to yourself. It’s the healthiest thing you can do!


  3. you know Im all about the listening to your bod and doing what you love (& the fitness will follow)

    hope you are having a great sunday—Im off to call my dad again.

    he’s off somewhere playing I think πŸ™‚

    M.


  4. Loveofoats- I know just what you mean and really don’t want to become something like that… its important to enjoy what we do:)

    Living2thetruth- Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting- thats really sweet!

    MizFit- Agree wholeheartedly with listening to our bodies:) And I am so all about the playing!


  5. Sagan – again, you amaze me! I wish I had been half as self-aware as you are when I was your age. (hell, I wish I could be now!!)
    Good for you for realizing that if you aren’t passionate about doing something, you need to find something you ARE passionate about.


  6. I think you made a great decision. You should never push yourself to do something if your heart isn’t in it and you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Huge kudos to you for listening to your body and not taking the unhealthy route.

    Have fun with your dad today!


  7. The most important thing about any sport (or fitness as a whole) is that you have fun. Like Mizfit said, congrats to you for listening to your inner self and your body. πŸ™‚


  8. Oh now you’ve done it. I must have one of those itsy bitsy computers! ::fights overwhelming envy::

    Good insight into your feelings about running!

    (typed on great big old ginormous ugly keyboard)


  9. Love this. It is so important to be honest with yourself. I’m with the Bag Lady on this one – I wish I was half as self aware when I was 19. There’s been a lot of research coming out lately about how long cardio sessions aren’t as fab as we once thought they were. Which isn’t to say that they are bad. Certainly do them if you enjoy them. But don’t feel a single speck of guilt about cutting them out if it’s not your thing. Your health won’t suffer – just get your intervals in;)


  10. You’re only 19? I never would have guessed! πŸ™‚

    I think you should do the kind of exercise YOU want to do. I run because I like to, but I’m not aspiring to run full (or even half) marathons. Find something fun!

    (I’m also totally feeling you on the “run while angry” thing. I like to listen to angry music while I’m running because I think it helps me go faster!)


  11. great blog! You clearly made the right decision for your body and soul-you should feel so proud of yourself. What fun is running 13.1 miles if your heart isn’t in it, after all? I’m like you-I workout to release my emotions and burn off stress. As for running, I cannot MAKE myself do it. I know it’s time for a jog if I feel it in my bones-like a yearning to go hit the pavement. Otherwise, it’s like punishment. Thanks for the insightful post. You’re abs. right-one can be ‘too healthy’ to the point where it turns on you. Sounds like u successfully headed this off with the half-marathon. Go girl!


  12. Bag Lady & Chandra- am all about needing the passion!

    Running Knitter- I think life needs to be lived with having fun. Its too short to not enjoy every moment of it.

    Cammy- this thing is SO portable and cute! I’m swooning over it:)

    Charlotte- thanks for that. It is kind of nice to know that long distance running isn’t necessary for good health, which I think is a mistake that a lot of people make (thinking that exercise NEEDS to involve marathon-style running). But there are all different kinds of fitness.

    Zandria- one of my favourite bands is the Arctic Monkeys for good workout music. Its so full of energy!

    Weightinggame- it is SO useful for burning off that stress- but you’re right that it can feel like a punishment, and that’s not good at all!


  13. I completely agree with you. Really, there are so many options when it comes to exercise and being fit – there is no reason to force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, as long as you are enjoying other activities.

    I am sort of the same way with running – sometimes I want to run and I enjoy it (the little bit that I can do). But when it gets to the point that I am forcing myself and not looking forward to it, I go back to doing other things.


  14. Everyone else has already said the things that were going through my mind as I was reading your post.

    Congrats on knowing who you are.


  15. I am impressed..I was so much of a “people pleaser” when I was younger that it would have never occurred to me to do or not do something that would make me happy. way to go!


  16. Very insightful. You’ve discovered what takes others years to figure out. That’s truly admirable.

    I like where you said you can be healthy in unhealthy ways. Words of wisdom, girl! Great post! πŸ™‚


  17. You mean there are people out there who like to run?? Really?
    Well, I do know one, Steffi Graf, but she’s the only one I can remember πŸ™‚

    I got into running as conditioning for karate kumite, and eventually stayed with it as a convenient exercise.

    Maybe one day I’ll like it, maybe tomorrow. Is it an acquired taste?

    Dr. J


  18. Great decision about the running!

    I think running is one of those things that people are told they “should” do, which is silly, because it’s really quite hard on the body over the long haul. I think if you don’t love it, there’s no point keeping at it when you could be doing something you enjoy!

    And I’m with other commenters is thinking you are awfully self-aware! So many people don’t stop to listen to their own bodies and obsess about what others are doing. Balance and perspective is so important to lifelong fitness!


  19. Javachick- there’s so many options when it comes to choosing an activity!

    Robin & Missicat- Thanks:)

    Susan- it took me a LONG time to realize that its possible to be healthy in unhealthy ways… but I’m glad that I figured it out now rather than later!

    Dr. J- I guess sometimes those things just grow on you, when you do them long enough:)

    Crabby- it really is unfortunate how its assumed that running is something we “should” do. If we resent what we’re doing, whats the point?


  20. I definately agree that you need to find your (exercise) passion. If it’s not running (wah I love running) then it will be somethign else.

    I also agree that you can over-do it and have an addition towards working out (seen it first hand). So keep listening to your body/mind and you’ll find what works best for you.



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