Better in than out?

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!


3 thoughts on “Better in than out?

  1. I agree with your final comments. Writing it down helps us to identify our negative thoughts as negative, re frame to find the positive and it’s that final product which is easier for other people to have shared with them. It’s so much easier for us if we have a friend who understands us and we can do the process verbally , but writing it down let’s us be our own friend. I have a friend from childhood who was so fantastic for me when I went off work with stress, I talked to her about all kinds of rubbish for ages😊 I hadn’t seen her in a while (too busy working too hard and giving myself burnout) so I was really grateful that she gave me her time. But since then I have learned the value of writing it down. It just takes a lot longer!!! And it saves me from boring others. But sometimes, like with the running the situation happens and it’s all too quick to think and spot what’s happening and reframe and run! But no one else will be thinking about it and you will be prepared for next time😊 You are doing great!


  2. Actually, bollocks… You had a right and your actions were indeed positive … It was taking care of yourself and working with what you had at the time. And that’s really important. I think you’ll find it says more about their helicopter view on life rather than what was going on for you .. And it’s only you that will ever know that, so just place courage in your convictions….xxx


  3. It’s taken me several years to adjust to what I now call exercise. I have to be extraordinarily cautious using weights and if I want to do a good workout then I have to be willing to pay the price of constant pain for at least 10 days (due to chronic pain). When I’m in excellent condition I can walk, but only for 30 minutes and not nearly as fast as I used to. I’ve had to internally agree with and accept statements like, “I used to be an athlete,” and so forth. One thing I have to remember, because I do tend to forget, is that when I was body building and walking 8 miles a day I was breaking my body through over-exercising. One of my chronic pain issues is due to not listening to my body or having a balance when exercising. If I forget that then (a) it can lead into self-pity over what was (only remembering the good parts, i.e., endorphin rush), and (b) minimizing what I can do now.

    The truth is, once I grew up and took responsibility for what i did and what I can do now, is that I “can” walk. Maybe it’s slow and maybe it’s not miles and miles, but 30 minutes is more than many people can do. Sure, maybe I can’t do strength training like other people but I “can” still do it enough to maintain muscle tone to the best of my ability. The important thing is to stay healthy. Walking is my only defense for back pain and fibro flairs but doesn’t always work. Strength training is my only defense against osteopenia becoming osteoporosis. I mean, I’m not going to lie… a part of my motivation is to keep my body fat percentage normal and maintain my weight, but it’s a process.

    Isn’t it all about small victories? You’ve had a victory, at least in my opinion. Hold on to that for all it’s worth. My hope was that my inside thoughts and feelings would match what I said. After writing this I realize that hope is being slowly realized. Maybe it will take a few more persistent years but in the end it will be worth it and I’m already beginning to appreciate the journey, no longer looking for the end result.


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