I love running/exercise can be hard

IMG_0342I love to run. I’m serious. I really do. Most of the time people give me a surprised look and ask why. Others say “I wish I enjoyed running”. Here’s the thing I do love to run, I have enjoyed it since I could walk really. I would run for fun and competitively. Every time I begin a run I will get butterflies in my stomach, especially if I am outside. I feel so alive when I run, so free. It’s my happy place.

Most of the time when people see me running they will say “I wish I had the energy to do that” or “I wish I had the time”.  This bothers me sometimes because I don’t always have the time or the energy.  Sometimes it can be difficult to do. My problem seems to be starting something new, like a new routine or just getting back into working out after a break. Once I get those few initial sessions out of the way I’m good for a while. I begin to feel better and look better. My results make me feel energized and motivated for more, hungry for more. I’m a competitive person so this helps me tremendously. Mostly I’m only competitive with myself so I am constantly trying to outdo what I just did. I also have an addictive personality which means I can become addicted to things very easy. Hence the reason once I start working out I’m driven for more. The problem with this however, is that I can become so obsessed with whatever I’m doing and if I am failing my goals I take it hard. This was pre-baby Carrie for sure!

Like I’ve mentioned in prior posts I’ve been doing some changing and this is one area of my life. Giving myself freedom to enjoy working out and challenging myself without being self-deprecating. Having a baby is so hard on the body. Recovery is so much longer than I thought it would be. It didn’t help that people told me repeatedly “you’ll bounce back quickly”. That made me think within a few months….but it wasn’t. I was 10 months out, probably closer to 11, before I felt good and like I was coming back again. I still don’t feel 100% all the time but I am getting better. Postnatal working out is SO HARD! Or it was for me anyway. Working through weak core muscles, poor cardio, and tight muscles is difficult. I was not able to work out like I used to. I used to get so upset with myself. I would feel disappointed because I didn’t feel I was pushing hard enough or wasn’t fast like I used to be. Feeling discouraged, I wouldn’t make time to workout even thought I knew the only way to get better was to do it. I felt like I would never get to enjoy running or working out again.  As a new parent I didn’t have the energy nor time that I once did but I have to make the time and muster the energy. The truth is you just have to push through. There’s no other way around it.

I now have to prioritize time with my husband and son, cleaning my home and doing laundry (a lot of laundry), or another errand that I may have. (I should interject here my husband is wonderful and is a partner to me so I am not doing this all alone) I am learning to balance life though. I think that as a wife and mother I have a natural desire to take care of others but I also feel taking care of myself allows me to take care of those in my life. If I am not recharging my batteries with things I enjoy doing, such as running, I will be no good to those around me.

When it comes to finding my motivation I try to focus on the outcome I am wanting and then how to obtain these goals. I am using this in other areas of my life, not just exercise. I find for me writing my goals out is helpful. If I see them on paper that makes it more tangible.  I can question if it is something I am really passionate about and then plan how to obtain the goal. A few months back I wrote my goals out. Starting my blog was one of them as well as running a half marathon. I have others but these two are the ones I am working on mostly. Writing down why I want to achieve these goals will help keep me on track and motivated when I may loose focus. I heard in a sermon once that unless you give yourself a time frame for a goal it isn’t a goal but only a wish. I feel like that is true. I have given my self time frames for my goals and am working at achieving them.

I still love to run, I think I always will. But I am learning to enjoy the run for what it is and how it makes me feel and less about the numbers. It has been so freeing and I’ve actually made progress in my distance and pace since doing so, albeit slow progress. Whatever you enjoy in life try to enjoy it for what is it. What I hope you get out of this post is this; I am encouraging you to not get caught up in the negative of what you enjoy doing but rather remember why you love doing it and focus on that. Things can become challenging even if you love or enjoy doing them but keep pressing toward your goals. Remember success isn’t always measured in the distance forward but the act of actually doing.

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