For more years than not I’ve been a runner. I began competing in track at age 13 and have continued to compete in various and numerous running events. I’ve been fortunate to have had some success and with hard work achieve many of my running goals. Running is part of who I am. It’s how I feel good, deal with stress, get in shape, release steam, socialize with friends and so much more. I love and crave the endorphins running provides and the satisfaction conquering a hard workout gives me. I love setting goals and achieving them. Being a runner is part of my story. It’s who I am and what I love.
For the last five or so months I’ve been struggling with an injury issue that has significantly limited my running. I’m lucky to get in a couple short runs a week and even those do not feel good. I’ve been frustrated and missing what running provides me. I miss my running groups and running buddies. I miss how running makes me feel. I miss what running does for my body and metabolism. I miss the alone time and mental release that running provides me. I miss running period!
Having coffee with a friend recently, we talked about the concept of ‘our personal stories’. My friend explained that each of us has as story, and how we define ourselves impacts how we react, interact and approach life. He wisely told me we have the choice any day and any time to rewrite our story. Carrying around a negative story or self-defeating story only brings on more negativity. He gave the example of a woman with a full plate feeling her story was ‘I’m never good enough and I can’t do it all’. With each task, request or conversation this woman is sharing her story with a defeated attitude, excuses, and negative comments. We’ve all met someone similar – she starts ever conversation with ‘I’m not very good at that’ or some other self-deprecating statement. How much more satisfying would it be to rewrite that story to “Look at all that I manage to do!” Having the outlook that I may not do it all but I sure do a lot would allow her to enter each new situation with confidence and not a sense of presumed failure.
I’ve realized that lately I’ve let me story become “I’m an injured, frustrated, former runner.’ While I certainly hope to find an answer to my injury issues, the reality is I am more than a runner. If I only define myself is an injured runner, I am entering every situation with disappointment and no hope. While I work on getting back to running – I need a new story! I have more to offer. While my running has been lacking my pilates practice has improved. My core is stronger and my ability to do certain pilates exercises has greatly improved as well. My story could be ‘I am strong and growing in my pilates abilities’. I am also working on building my marketing business and picking up new clients and tackling new projects. My story could be ‘I have skills and expertise that others want and I am becoming a successful business owner’. Or my story could simply be “When I work hard, I am successful.”
My story can be whatever I choose it to be. And any given day I can change it. If I choose a positive story, I enter my day feeling confident not defeated. While I hope my story will again include running, for now I may rewrite it to focus on the other successes I have.
So I ask you – what is your story? What are you putting out there and telling others about yourself with your words, actions, and how you carry yourself? Is it what you would want folks to see? Maybe it’s time to rewrite your story too! Each day is an opportunity to reinvent and rewrite. If we present the world with a negative perception of ourselves, how can we expect others to see anything else? You may never have had the desire to be a writer but like it or not you are the author of your story! Write a good one!