Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sore legs and some fear all rolled into one

Hooooooo-leeeeeeee  smokes, it was hot out there for my long run of the week. The canal was muddy as all get out too!!!


I woke up and immediately started stressing about the run.  I typically run 2.5-3 miles at a pop. So pushing it up to 4 miles was a jump.  I dreaded it and worried about it.  Yes, I did.  But I gritted my teeth and went out. (Later than normal simply because of my procrastination and worry).  I doubted myself the whole run.  Telling myself I couldn't make the whole thing.  I did make it.  I managed 4.12 miles.  This week. I've only topped that one other time (effortlessly it seemed at the time too...hmm).    So I am slowly pushing up my mileage.  It was also muddy on the canal this morning!    The last mile was brutally hot. I did it though.  It was slow..but I did it!!!!!!       

As for the rest of the legs are SORE...all day they have been sore and just achy!  

Eating today, I did eat a bit extra for lunch (my breakfast was light and we went to lunch shortly after my run was complete.....yeah, I ate Chinese....and I was hungry!)  My weight was done again this morning though.  So maybe...just maybe I have figured out a plan that will work for me ...right where I'm at in this journey!  I even had a little tires after dinner (a kiddie size!!!)

I was answering an email to a friend the other day and the words just poured forth and made me think.

Teaching in PG county was a horrid experience for me.  It was the end of a dream for me.  It was the beginning of a life of fear.

I went to PG county to accept a teaching position as  a pretty confident gal.  I wasn’t not worried about moving to a city hours away from family where I had no friends.  I was not worried about starting a new job in a notoriously rough area of the city.  I was ready to face the world head on with a spring in my step and a sparkle of confidence in my eyes.   Things didn't go as I planned. My life long dreams went up in flames.   I ended up leaving the teaching profession a broken and battered woman.  Because I have vowed to be totally honest and brutal, I will just say it…I left in a state of depression that was at the most dangerous level.  Yes, I seriously contemplated and made the first feeble steps to kill myself to end the misery of existence and my broken dreams.  It was ugly but I got out and the depression lifted and I was ok.

But was I really ok?

Where a fearless (relatively) girl once stood there now stood a broken and fearful person.  I was afraid of my own shadow.  What if something went sour with what I was doing?  What if I found myself in a situation like PG County again?  What if I failed at whatever I wanted to try, just like I had failed in PG County?  What if?  What if?  What if?

I retreated.  I stopped dreaming because my dreams could lead to failure.  I stepped back and allowed life to move on without me.  Oh, I’ve stayed up on things. I’m not still living in the stone ages with dial up internet, no cell phone and a black and white tv (ok ok ok, I haven’t seen a black and white tv since the 70’s and I actually had a cell phone when I was in PG County….same number I still have today actually….ha ha)  But I’ve stopped dreaming.  I’ve stopped pushing myself out of my comfort zone because of fear.  I stopped doing things because of the what ifs. 

My life changed because of this fear.  I stopped pushing myself to achieve dreams and goals.  I stopped striving to be the best because the potential for failure was too great.  I stopped trying and settled for second best.

In the last few years I’ve started to see these fears for what they are.  Irrational.   I’ve started to try to push myself past the comfort zone and face these fears head on.  I’ve been successful.  I have pushed myself past some of my fears.  Each and every time, they all turned out to be  irrational fears yet they almost immobilized me.

Traveling by myself?  How crazy was it to fear that?  Yes, I almost got stuck in an airport and had to do a mad dash that even the flight attendant said was a futile attempt.  But if I hadn’t have made it what is the worst that would have happened?  I would have called in to work the next day (since I obviously would have been not in town to work) and I would have hopped the next available flight.   It was a totally irrational fear.  And you know what I learned that weekend?  I LOVE traveling by myself. 

Running.  I can’t even talk about how fearful I am with running.  I was petrified to run Paws on the Pavement the first time.  I did it by myself and the fear was intense!  I had run a few 5k’s before; but I had always run them in the company of a friend.  This one was I was totally on my own and I was afraid.    Yet I pushed myself to do it.   There were parts I wasn’t fond of (the boring wait between arrival and the start…that isn’t really fun by yourself) but I did it and that run was my BEST EVER time for a 5k!   I actually ran the most recent Donut Alley Rally by myself (although my husband was in the crowd waiting for me, so I wasn’t totally alone).   It turned out to be an irrational fear. 

The other week it took everything I had to admit my love of writing and my desire to actually do something with it.  Fear, plain and simple. But I’m doing it regardless.  Because if I don’t I’ll always wonder what if. (and I have already wasted years of not following the dream because of fear!)

So I’ve been trying to push myself out of this fear.  I want the confident girl back.  I want the confident girl that headed out into the unknown so many years ago to come back.  I don’t like the life that this revised version of MaryFran leads.   Just accepting what life doles out is no longer an option.   I’m clawing my way back and pushing through the fears. 

That’s not to say that my mind is not still filled with these what ifs.  Oh, they are there. But you know what?  I’m going to face them when they happen.  I’m worried and stressed and fearful about running this 10k.  (I’m SLOOOOOW…and my body is really feeling my current 3 miles).  But you know what.  What’s the worst that will happen?  I have to stop?  I get swept (I don’t even know if they sweep the course at this run….but I’m thinking that at my current pace of 13.30…that I should be ok)?   I trip and hurt an ankle?  Oh well, it will be a good story to tell at work the next week.  The fear is irrational.  

(Ok today was slower than 13:30)

The Nike slogan makes so much sense to me now….. JUST DO IT!  No excuses, no fears…JUST DO IT!


Anonymous said...

Hi Mary-Fran, my name is Michelle, I'm a 41 year old teacher in England, UK, and I have followed your blog for a long time now. I really enjoy following your progress, and share a lot of your trials (I am also stuck in exactly the same weight bracket as you and constantly yo-yo between set weights!) I just wanted to say that I really admired your honesty today - it must have taken a lot to write about the teaching and the subsequent depression. You constantly inspire me with the things you write about and your positive attitude, so you must be doing something right! Keep going. Good luck with the running x

Brittany said...

I just wrote a post about self confidence right before I came here to read your blog!

Sonya @ Finding Drew said...

MaryFran-- your awesome and I'm so glad you fought your way back from those scary depressed thoughts and feelings. Negative internal dialogs get us everytime... Fear especially, but you are right. We need to push through the what ifs and the fears and challenge ourselves. Good for you for recognizing that and making the strides you have. WTG... So glad your around to share them with us.

Unknown said...

what a beautiful post!!! I deal with some of the same irrational fears.... I too am learning to face them. You are an inspiration... thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Anonymous said...

Wow...what a horrible thing to go through. I'm proud of you that you bounced back from such a low space. You obviously have tons of talent and drive; you'll find your ideal niche, I'm confident! Great job on the running, too. :-)

Amy said...

wow MaryFran - all those what ifs you keep asking yourself. What if the outcome was amazing? brilliant? awe inspiring? I agree with your great strategy to just jump in and do it (a la Nike)!

Kyra said...

I think there is an important part that fear plays. Without it, we can make some stupid decisions without thinking them through. But as you said, it can get out of hand and run everything, and that's not a healthy relationship. I deal with a lot of fear too. It's frustrating and debilitating, but it is something you can push past. And you are. :)

Tricia Coniglio said...

I love this post, thank you for posting! It is quite amazing how debilitating fear can be. I am glad to hear you are pushing through it.

What an inspiration, thanks so much.

timothy said...

I get this and you know what I'm terrified of letting fear run my life and rob me so I do the other irrational and run towards it (even when I shouldn't) because I wont let it rule me. mayhaps we both need to find that happy medium place, hmmmmmm balance imagine that!