Things that are humbling

Things that are humbling…
(why do I feel like I’m on Jeopardy with that phrase? “I’ll take ‘things that are humbling’ for $100, Alex”) 

I’m humbled when:

…I’m smacked with the reality of a less-than-stellar run. Especially after riding what feels like a multi-week runner’s high, especially after *just* blogging about a 12.5 mile runner’s high just yesterday. But yesterday was also a day where I faced a way-harder-than-it-should’ve-been run. Almost as if I was running in place, exerting all this energy and not getting anywhere. That “not getting anywhere” feeling lasted pretty much the entire run. But? The silver lining – I did not give up. I did not walk. I kept moving (that favorite running quote springs to mind…”Run if you can, walk if you must, crawl if you have to, but just don’t stop.”) It was humbling. 

…I have a fat day. A “day” or a “feeling” I thought I’d finally banished for good. But guess what? I’m human. I’m not perfect. I still have fat days. Apparently, I didn’t get that memo. Even after blogging about what a difference a year makes. Even after openly admitting that, on my 32nd birthday, I feel good, happy, confident when I look in the mirror. I’m still human. But, as luck would have it, all that “fat day” took yesterday was a double whammy session at barre n9ne to knock some sense into me. After taking a legs express class followed by b9 toned, firm, fit and ready, I suddenly looked into that mirror and did not feel fat. I felt strong again. Confident again. Fit again.<exhale> …but yet? The fact that a fat day can still rear its ugly head from time-to-time? That’s humbling.

…I see someone who is not able, yet still making the most of life.
When I say “able,” I mean – unable to be active, unable to walk, even. It was during that very same run yesterday that Scott and I encountered an elderly woman. Out for her morning “walk” in her wheelchair. By the look on her face, you’d never know she was unable. She was smiling, she was happy – with what she was able to do. While she physically couldn’t walk, she *could* still get out and enjoy the beautiful Indian summer day. Wheelchair and all. That look on her face, the kind words she uttered when we passed by. It was so humbling. Especially considering I was just bitching in my head about how horrendous I was feeling on that run.

“…But at least I *can* run,” I thought to myself.


29 thoughts on “Things that are humbling

  1. I think that there are always going to be humbling things in life. It doesn’t feel the best, but it kind of helps you keep perspective on things, right?

    • It actually felt kind of good to feel so humbled yesterday; sure – that run was frustrating, the fat day was frustrating, but it was also eye-opening and gave me a new sense of perspective that I needed.

  2. I have a feeling if you were having a fat day and being down on yourself a bit, then maybe that affected the run without your realizing it? We all have those runs that bring you to your knees essentially (sometimes literally). And I have fat days too so there. We aren’t perfect right? It’s realizing it and moving on. Also, it’s nice that you can recognize everything and put it into perspective and be humbled. Makes you appreciate what you do have more.

    • Hmm, you make a really good point, friend. I hadn’t thought of it that way but you’re absolutely right – if my head wasn’t in the game, and I wasn’t feeling confident to begin with, it’s no wonder my running suffered because of it. You are SO SMART, thanks for pointing that out…good reminder to not let your mind play tricks on you, right? (stupid fat days!)

  3. It’s those kind of people – like the old woman or the wheelchair athletes at races – that really make you stop and think. Definitely humbling…and also inspirational.

  4. You’ve been having a lot of runner’s high lately, which is pretty elusive for a lot of people (like me). It’s normal to have a run like what you had today. This just means that your next one will be better!

    • Totally normal to have runs that aren’t awesome every single time; I’ve been ridiculously lucky lately to have had such a series of good runs…I’m actually glad I faced a tough one yesterday, it’ll not only make me stronger in the long run, but it makes me appreciate a really runner’s high worthy run that much more. AND I’m glad I got it out of the way before race day. 😉

  5. Agree w Naomi on the runner high, guess you are bound to have a semi crappy one, one of these days? 😉 but seriously, humbling days are the best kind, smack of reality you need.

  6. BEAUTIFUL!! Loved all of them! I’m constantly humbled by God’s grace for me. The fact that I’m able to get pregnant so easily and carry healthy children. I have MANY friends who have miscarried recently and it just reminds me of how lucky I am!

    • It is truly something to be thankful for constantly; I’ve had close friends struggle with fertility for years and it’s probably the most painful thing to watch, let alone to experience personally. It’s an amazing gift to be granted a child and it’s awesome that you never for a second take that lightly. Awesome comment, thank you!

  7. To be honest, it’s nice to hear that everyone has these kinds of days. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.
    But at least we can learn from it and move forward, right?
    Plus, today’s a new day!

    • I’m all about honesty up in here – because you’re right, I think we ALL feel better when we know we’re “not alone” in having days where running just isn’t “working” for us for a million different reasons. It keeps us humble, real and appreciative of those days when running feels like a piece of cake (or as close as a piece of cake as running can ever come!).

  8. I can tell you that I too have had the “fat day” thought a few times lately. And honestly, once you see someone who may not be 100% physically able, it just makes you want to run harder next time. Never take it for granted.

    • Totally made me that much more appreciative of my own two working legs. And wiped the grumpy face I had on at that moment when I was frustrated over my run-ability on that given day.

    • This has been my year-long mission: to gain mental strength and endurance, not just physical. So you’ll see these posts from me from time to time where I explore these thoughts, figure them out, and move on. It’s been an interesting journey so far but I’ve loved the results of this focus on mental strength, way more than I ever thought possible.

  9. A couple of these *really* hit home for me right now. After two BLASTY run last week, I was hit with a hard 7 miles on Sunday. How hard? It was supposed to be 10. I fought off nausea, other tummy troubles, almost passing out, and dead legs to push out 7.

    The other is the “fat day” thing. Just today I said, “I think my peanut butter habit is out of control.” because my belly doesn’t look “as flat”. Well that could be anything, right? Or it could be me being self conscious. Or it could all be in my imagination because my work pants still feel the same on my body.

    Glad to see you’re recognizing these thoughts and reigning them in before they get out of hand. Way to have a great grip on the mental game Jess!

    • That sounds like a BRUTAL run my friend…utterly brutal and eye-opening, and sobering. That was just how my run felt (minus the almost passing out, oy!).
      Don’t you hate when the mind games trick us into doubting ourselves and casting negative thoughts, shaking our confidence like that? That’s what really frustrated me about the fat day, not that I was feeling fat, but that I was allowing my thoughts to get the better of me.

  10. It’s makes you stronger when you feel like you’re getting nowhere, but keep going. So proud of you for finishing.

    As for the fat day…first, we’re female. Hormones do it. Water does it. Exhaustion does it. It happens…what’s more important is that you remember what the truth REALLY is. (I need to remember this myself.)

  11. We see a wide range of abilities when we’re out running in the morning, too. I also see the guy who is up to be at “work”, passing out the free Metro newspapers, every morning at 6 a.m. He’s happy, he’s telling me it’s a good morning. Humbling, to say the least!

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