Why?

Fact: I’ve been running four times a week throughout the winter and into this round of training for the half marathon on May 6th. Pretty consistently so, I’d say.

Fact: I run because I love it, because it challenges me, because it keeps me fit.

Fact: I do not run ‘just to run’, nor do I run to maintain my weight. My running motivation is far deeper than that now.

So when it came to running yesterday, my third of four planned runs this week, I found my motivation waning by late afternoon. You see, I went to barre n9ne in the AM – an awesome class with one of my fit besties Steph – and had grand plans to get home and run a few miles with Scott, taking full advantage of having him around during school vacation week.

However.

My knee was a wee bit achy when I got back, so after much hemming and hawing, I decided to postpone the run to after work and before dinner, in the hopes that my knee would loosen up and I’d be all clear to run.

The good news? My knee felt fine by midday.
The bad news? My motivation was flying quickly out the window. I chalk it up to poor sleep patterns this week and the tail end of half marathon training that always leaves me so tired.

So when my sis (oh so wise sis) pushed me on my reasons for wanting to get my run in last night. She simply asked me one question:

Why?

Why did I feel that I ‘needed’ to get that run in last night when I clearly wasn’t feeling it?
Why did I respond that it was because I wanted to get my four ‘planned’ runs in for the week.
Why did I feel so strongly that I must get those four runs in?

Why?

It’s not like one training run will ever make or break my training. (as I’ve said a million times on this blog, talk about pot/kettle!)
It’s not like my body isn’t fully capable and accustomed to running often.
It’s not like scrapping one cardio session this week will do any harm to my fitness levels.

So why, why, why did I question my intentions?

Call it a reoccurance of OATT syndrome.

Or call it what it is — I am so darn used to pushing myself physically, filling any free time that I have with a good sweatfest. I set such a high bar for myself.all.the.time. Legit unable to chill out and not DO anything just beause I have the free time, unplanned and all. <<–something one of my IRL besties asked me about on gchat yesterday too, she literally has no idea HOW I don’t know how to relax. Haha. Well she DOES know me very well so she ‘gets’ it, it IS me afterall, but still. Point taken. I need to chill the eff out.

So what’s the  moral of this little story of mine? That sometimes (ok, a lot of the time), it’s a really good thing to simply step back and ask yourself WHY.

Your answer may both surprise you and remind you that everything you do and strive for in life ought to be done with intention.

…not just out of habit.
…not just because it was according to some ‘plan.’
…not just because it’s what you’ve always done.

But because there is true, real, strong intention behind those actions.  

I’m a big, huge, giant believer in living with intent. So this little OATT outbreak turned into a really, really good reminder for me to get back to living that way. Stepping away from the plans, the habits, the routines.

Getting back to intention.

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25 thoughts on “Why?

    • Aww thank you friend, you are the best. And you know what? You are absolutely right — the past two years have been a pretty wild ride for BOTH of us on the body image, training attitudes shifting, etc., I’m really, really glad we’re both in a really good, really balanced, really healthy, really HAPPY place now. It’s the best. Such a blessing. ❤

  1. It’s interesting how we respond to things when we don’t have to do them. I told myself, after I ran a half-marathon a month ago, that I was sick of running and I wasn’t going to do it anymore and I didn’t have to. You know what I’ve been doing? Running.

  2. I can SO identify with this. I feel like I have to constantly be in motion…doing something. When I finally do “relax” I oftentimes find myself going to the opposite end of the spectrum and having the “I don’t give a shit” mentality. Of course this last for short periods of time before I head back into my “buzzbomb” effect. So hard. Great post. Know you’re not alone! =)

    • Right? Like every ounce of the day MUST be put to good use. Must, must, must. It’s crazy how our minds play such tricks on us – like we haven’t ‘earned’ the down time or something. Duh. I’m glad I’m not alone on this!!

  3. YES!! This is EXACTLY right!!! Intention. Not just because. Not because you did it last week or you want to do it next week. And remember that little moment of clarity a few weeks ago when you felt like you were just pushing too hard and you needed to step back? This is why. When you don’t take the step back, you go in the opposite direction and push too much. You are reaching that happy medium now and I am so glad. And glad you listened to your wise one sister 😉 XO

    • Intention is such a powerful concept — and one that I find myself harnessing more and more, and largely as a result of that mindset shift thanks to barre n9ne. Thank you for helping me step back when I needed it the other day, sometimes I really wonder what I’d do without you. 🙂

  4. Ah very good post reminder for me. Especially as I sit here thinking about how to fit in a run today b/c I normally run on Thursdays. But I’ve already run Mon/Tues and want to run Sat/Sun. So why? Because I’m stubborn? LOL And um, I’m kind of worried about your knee.

  5. Me too. Habit is such a funny thing. On the one hand, we want to instill good habits and have them become a part of our life – healthy eating, exercise, etc. – but on the other hand, we don’t want to become a slave to our habits. Your post is pushing me to remember my intentions when I find myself caught up and obligated to my habits.

    • Exactly – habit can be either really, really, really good, or it can (unintentionally) bite you in the ass. A slave to them, like you said. It’s so important to bring it back around to intention vs. habit now and then. I’m glad this post is making you think about it more too!

  6. This is exactly how I was 2 years ago. I just couldn’t slow down and just enjoy life once in awhile – I had to constantly be going, going, going. I ended up getting burnt out and it sucked. Today I have a must better grasp on things and leave a little time each and every day for myself. I’ve learned that I need it!

    • So now I gotta know — HOW did you get out of that mode yourself? I think I’ve gotten MUCH better with it, but clearly I still have some work to do there. Please fill a sista in!!

  7. YES! You NEED to add a little “fly by the seat of the pants” to your routine. Just a little.

    Remember Saturday night? Nothing but wine, at least four different movies (LOL), and girl chat. You weren’t doing anything else.

    Channel that when you feel the need to push yourself harder/farther/faster – and just remember that sometimes it’s okay to step back, assess the situation, and take a much needed break.

    Why? Because your body and mind will thank you for it. XOXO

    • You make a really good point — we did very well at just chilling out on Sunday without any real “plan” other than drinking wine and gabbing all night, haha. I do need to channel that next time I want to push, go, move, bahhh all the time. Haha. I need to chill OUT. hehe

  8. great post. I totally agree~ I try to never force myself to do any weights or running, that way I will always always love it! (although the line between lazy & just not feeling it is different)
    T

  9. its funny when you’re training for something its easy to get caught up in every single run..i HAVE to do this run TODAY. id always feel so bad if i didnt do a run when i was supposed to..but like you said, 1 run is not going to make or break your training. if you’re feeling burned out, tired, sore, whatever….a break is such a good idea! its so easy to push yourself but thats when injury and that feeling of being burned out occurs..thats no fun!

  10. The same thing happened to me during this end of training for Boston. I didn’t want to and I was tired. But I asked myself why and usually it got me out the door but after weeks of that I realized a lot of it was because I felt compelled to stick to the schedule. Once I take this personal trainers exam, I plan I scheduling a lot of free time…time where I can do what I want, not feel bad and not have to ask myself why. And if I do ask myself why, “because” can be a good answer! I want to be sure my next choice (after teacher training) is something I REALLY want!

  11. Yes! What an amazing feeling to not be on “autopilot” …I think it’s important to figure out which categories we’d like to be in (like “healthy” “fit” etc)…but it’s much more important day to day to strive and do the things that put us in those categories for the real and deep reasons. The things you really can’t totally put into words!

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