Those two are actually separate issues for me.
I’m feeling odd about my running. I’ve compared my running with a lot of people lately. Real life people, not intarwebz people. I don’t know why. I hate the feelings that come along with it: “I’m nowhere near that level” or the equally bad, if not worse, “I could totally beat that time”. It makes me feel icky inside and I can feel it pulling toward a really dark, ugly place that I’m not willing to visit.
It’s all apples and oranges. That, or something like it, is a mantra of mine. It keeps me from comparing things that really have no business being compared. Namely, me and anyone else. I used to think of myself as a competitive person, but I don’t think that was really accurate. Or maybe I was, but I’m certainly not anymore. There is a definitive gap in my memory that divides my life into two categories: Before Pregnancy and Motherhood. Sometimes I cannot tell if I experienced something BP, or if I dreamed it (can you say chronic sleep deprivation?). Bubs is 90% of my world, and for the most part, petty shit has fallen off my radar since he came into my life. So this is definitely a rare place for me to be anymore.
I quit striving for perfection somewhere in high school, when I was hit with the realization that no one actually aspires to be an Average Joe, yet most people end up there. It’s not that I gave up on my dreams or myself, but I started thinking about what was actually important to me (helping people and not being attempting to be rich and famous). I try to be a good person each and every day, but I won’t strive for “Their” definition of perfect, especially since it’s designed to be unattainable anyway. It was just a reality check, and one of many that I’ve experienced throughout the years. I have long held the opinion that just because someone has an attribute or skill that I covet, doesn’t mean that they are living a perfect life. So why am I wasting time and energy comparing my running to that of other people? I don’t know, but it ends now. Actually, it ended Sunday night, this has just been a long-in-the-works post. I’m not going to make myself miserable over something so completely irrelevant.
I am going to do a speed workout tonight, though.
I’m a woman. An American. I’m not all that far away from my teenage years. Most often, I still see my body as a collection of parts and not a whole. There was a time when the only body part I could honestly say I liked was my nose It’s freckled, pierced and slightly crooked because one time I thought I could catch a line drive with it. Actually, I didn’t have my glove up high enough and the ball skimmed off the webbing and broke my nose. The assistant coach was a RN, so my nose was set almost immediately. I believe that my nose is crooked should speak as a testament to his skills as both a RN and a coach, but I digress. So now my nose has personality.
For the most part, I don’t think about my body. You could compare my mental self-image to the cryogenically frozen celebrity heads in Futurama. Or not. I know my body is there, but I don’t spend much time looking at it, and less time thinking about it, at least in regards to the good-bad dichotomy of body image. Occasionally, I will catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It goes one of two ways: “Woah! Hubs is right, I do look good!” or “Good grief! Lay off the chips and cheese, would you?” Because the odds are only 50/50, I don’t bother with the mirror very often.
I’m learning to appreciate other parts of my body, though. I can see muscle definition of my quads. I can feel my abs (although there is still a protective layer of blubber over them which has never once helped keep me warm in winter, hence my desire to permanently evict it from its current locale). I hear I have calves. I have an oh-so-slight definition between my biceps and triceps, although this is not from working out but simply performing my duties as “Mama”.
So while I understand that my body image isn’t completely healthy, I think I’m getting there. Maybe when I’ve learned to love all the pieces, I will be able to see the whole pie.