I’ve been having a bit of struggle recently with some negative talk. I was at a run training session yesterday and I was clearly slower than the rest of the group. I was okay with this, as the other runners are generally faster than me, and I’m still coming back after (another) injury. I’m slowly building my fitness back up and I’m okay that this is going to take me time. I asked to amend the session for myself so that I wasn’t always so obviously behind, this was a sensible suggestion which after a few reps the coach agreed to.
However, I then spent the rest of the session justifying to people that I really was okay. I got told to ‘be more positive’ and ‘ignore the negative self-talk’ and ‘be proud for trying’. It’s so frustrating though- as I am proud of myself for trying and for being realistic about my abilities. I don’t think my talk was all negative- I was saying things like ‘this is hard for me at the moment, can I start further up to even it out?’ or ‘I just find sprinting so hard, good thing I never want to be a sprinter’ or ‘I’m not built for running fast’. I was told to think positive and to not engage in negative talk as it will just bring me down.
Except- I spent years keeping my negative talk in and that didn’t work so well – I ended up miserable and ill. I have finally found my voice to be able to say when things are hard or that I’m not quite doing okay, but actually people don’t really want to hear that. I’m discovering that it’s a hard balance between what to keep in and what to let out.
In general I am fairly positive person, I’ve been described as annoyingly optimistic before! – but I do feel frustrated that I’m slower than others, that I’m larger than others and that my PhD is taking me longer than others. Not speaking these words don’t make these thoughts go away, but I can see that my friends want me to not feel this way and don’t think saying it out loud helps.
Maybe I just need to think about the context in which I’m saying things, and that actually if I am okay with how my running is at the moment that my talk should reflect that and I need to pay more attention to what I say. I don’t think I’m quite ready to go around saying I love my body, but my running is something I can be okay about. I’m pleased I can run injury free, I’m pleased I’m back training, I’m pleased I can run with my friends again. This is what I need to be saying, and maybe then I can convince people that I really am okay.
This was a bit rambling sorry but just the thoughts going around in my head!