Friday, April 20, 2012
My second half marathon. In December, when the e-mail came announcing that registration was open, I signed up on the first day. I remembered the thrill of finishing last year. The couple of days of moving a little slow after, but the grin that lasted a month, I swear.
Was it wise, given my aspirations for the Tri in July? At this point, I'm not sure. I know I am fit enough to walk the 13.1 miles. I make zero promises about finishing time, because I have no clue how much I'll jog how much just walk. If I want to guarantee a finish, I'll walk nearly the whole thing.
But if I wish to guarantee my ability to finish training for that Tri? I may be playing a "safety first" game with the half. And you know what? That's OK.
The competition is NOT a single day. It is not a single race. It is not with the other racers. It is with myself. It is a competition of character, of keeping promises to myself!
To US, fellow Sparkers. To living our lives, our way... fit, healthy, strong... the best we can be... to be the people we most desire and need to be. To purpose. To goals. To LIFE!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Being mentally kind to oneself allows one to be resilient. To never give up. To stick to the plan because we're worth it, and we are kind enough to ourselves to keep our promises. That inner child is EXPECTING the inner parent to help him/her do this... to show up at the game or the party or the school play.
Does your inner parent spoil your inner child? If so, is that kind?
So, in essence, the inner parent has to be mentally tough... to be mentally kind to that inner child. Encourage your inner child today: we can do this!
Because we're worth it.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
accepting your strengths, not just your weaknesses.
In swapping comments with WATERMELLEN about the mental toughness coaching sessions, I told her I have little trouble with the concept of being "part of the masses" versus "the elite". I expressed that this went against my egalitarian emotional identity.
From my youth up, I've been trained and have discovered in interactions with others that EVERY human is an amazing creature. May not be crazy about each and every one, and each and every one can't be depended upon to be crazy about ME, BUT, everyone has a story.
Steve Siebold preaches that most people fail at weight loss and getting fit, but "YOU aren't one of them", that YOU can become and are becoming a success, part of the small percentage of those who succeed... and that's when my talk-back begins.
You see, deep among the things that block me from being "world class" is a desire to fit in, to belong. It's close to the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of need... survival comes first, but belonging is close behind. I think that there are times when I (and others like me) undermine my own success because I don't believe I would truly belong in a culture of the world class. That somehow they are different (and, claims Siebold, they DO think differently). And I'm trying to get back to being "a part of the masses".
Yet, do I truly belong among "the masses", either?
Truth is, human beings are complex. We are all elite. And we are all "the masses". Some of us fear our success will take us away from the familiar where even if we're miserable, we are "at home". In the end, it is mentally kind to allow ourselves to grow, to achieve, to be strong where we can be strong... and to reach for our personal goals and the stars! And along the way? You will find Spark people who ALSO are reaching for similar goals and stars... and suddenly find... that YOU BELONG!
Life is good... Spark on!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
For those of you (and me) in the world who feel like it's OK for everybody "except me" to need help now and then, this blog's for you!
Who appointed you as having to be more than human? Seriously, mental kindness has to include giving oneself a break now and then to holler "help" and go seek it.
Whether that help is a phone a friend (remember who wants tobe a millionaire?), a poll the audience ("hey Spark buds, whaddaya think?"), or a 50-50 (THAT one is a bad answer!)... help sometimes gets us through a rough patch, even if we go right back to independence.
The secret to long term success is recognizing that the journey never ends. It isn't really about numbers on a scale. It's about living life, fully, feeling good. Things come up. They do! Families, work, injuries, illness, loss... celebrations and sorrows alike can throw you for a loop.
After a very bad week last week, I happened across two appointments last Saturday that I had made weeks ago. Part of me didn't want to go. But I went. And I came out with help, and renewed purpose.
The first help resulted in my coming out with a pre-planned week of food. I don't have to think about it this week. I look at the paper, pull the stuff, pack the lunch and snacks, and live my day. When I get home, look at the paper again, fix what it says for supper, have the evening snack it says... and I'm done.
In my mind it is kind of like a Spa... where meals are provided. OK, not quite, I still do some prep work... but I don't have to think about it.
The second help was the personal trainer, who worked my *** off, and I'm still feeling it on Tuesday, folks. What the help there was kick-starting the motivation. I love being able to do what she asked of me.
Anyway, these two things got me thinking about "help" and how sometimes I think I don't need it, that I don't want it, and it's not worth it. I can get really stubborn about that... then when I slip up, get really upset with me, and it spirals. That's hardly kind.
But getting the help? Deciding it's not only OK, but worth the investment? Priceless!
Be kind to yourself today. Life is good. Spark on!
Monday, April 16, 2012
There are so many starting points to being kind to oneself. However, I'm going to start with one that folks might have vocabulary troubles with of their own (as I do with the "mental toughness" vocabulary).
"If I'm kind to myself, isn't that just another way of giving myself permission to behave however I want?"
Well, no, it's not. I think of mental kindness as mothering my inner child. Good mothers do not let their children run wild. When the child begins to misbehave, the good mother does a little diagnostic work, right?
She determines what's been different about the child's day/week/surroundings and then comes up with a plan that works... FOR THAT CHILD. Because every child is different. The plan *could* be a swat on the bottom and off to a time-out corner or "go to your room and think about it". It could be a mutual distraction: "Go outside and play until dinenr time!" It could be a hug and a shoulder to cry on. A listening ear. And sometimes it's a cookie and a glass of milk!
Yes, there is even a place in the life of a child for the occasional treat. But the treat should not become a substitute for the love and careful consideration of what the real need is. The plan doesn't always work, every time, it's something of a trial and error figuring out what works with any given child. So we might change plans the next time.
But if we skip that step of assessment of the real need, and doing something about it, the temptation is to try to "fix" things with food, which is "easy"! Mental kindness is being a good parent to yourself.
Sometimes that good parent is one of Dad's little talks about the way life is... and you can equate that to some of the Mental Toughness lessons. Especially the hard ones: people are watching you, things are expected of you because of XYZ, you are a role model, people are attracted to or make judgements about you based on your size and fitness and appearance. Hard lessons, but true, nonetheless.
And sometimes that good parent is one of Mom's hugs and the reminder that YOU are special, and precious, have value and are worth taking care of... and she's there for you! Sometimes followed by the practical suggestion of something that might help... and sometimes leaving it for the child to figure out what will work that *isn't* the whole bag of cookies!
So... are you being mentally kind to yourself?
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