Continuing on with this concept of expectations and assumptions, what lies do you believe that are holding you back from getting outside and trying something new and exciting?
I came across a fun post entitled “7 Lies You Believe About Ultra Marathons“. This particular article hit a chord with me because I really, really like the idea of running an ultra. I don’t know why, exactly, but I just do. I don’t love running; in fact, I’m such a flaky runner! But the idea of running for 50km + is really intriguing to me…which, I suppose when you stop and consider some of the other long distance activities I’ve done, doesn’t really come as a surprise. I find that I’ll get distracted with biking in the summer so don’t invest in running…who knows, maybe the summer of 2016 will be my year!
So what are some of the lies about ultras? The first one author Vanessa lists is
“I can’t run an ultra yet – I’m not in my best shape“.
This one sure resonates with me specifically for the running but I’m sure it must resonate with many people for many activities. Although she is specifically referring to ultras, how many times have you stopped short of trying a new activity or pushing yourself to a new limit simply because you didn’t feel you were in a good enough shape? Did you avoid getting on a bike because you didn’t think spandex would work for you? Have you ever avoided hopping on a stand-up paddle board because you didn’t want to put on a bathing suit? Sure, being fit will make things easier but you it won’t ever get easier if you don’t try. I have a friend that, after a couple of kids, is committed to getting back to the hill and getting on her snowboard this year. She’s worried her snow pants won’t fit her very well but her attitude going into this season is “Oh well! Gotta start!” And it’s such a great attitude have. Don’t let being out of shape prevent you from doing an activity you want to try (or perhaps get back in to).
Another lie Vaness states is:
“I’m too old to start running ultras”.
No, you’re not! Or to start running marathons. Or to start running. Or biking. Or skiing. You’re not too old. I hiked with women of all ages this summer…and I mean women well into their 70s. And there’s the women whom Adam & I met on a ski vacation who were late 60s and still ski touring every day. Oh yeah, and my Aunt Norma. Note the huge trophy she’s holding while alongside her (very) decorated horse, Image (who’s also a senior!):
The last lie I wanted to highlight really hits home for me. I often feel this way.
“It doesn’t appear that anyone else is struggling as much as I am. I must not belong.”
It’s a form of self-depreciation and it’s not fair that we say these things to ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with struggling and feeling tired. My story for this is the first time I did the Seven Summits bike trail. Seven Summits is a 35 km trail that has received “Epic” status through the International Mountain Biking Association. With a gain/loss of 1162m/1962m, respectively, it’s tough. The first time I rode it I had it in my head that not only should I be able to do it in 6 hours but that I should at least be able to ride most of it…this was not to be. We finished in just under 8 hours and I felt I had pushed the bulk of that trail versus rode it: I was miserable with myself. I remember asking myself the whole time what I thought I was doing out there – my partners were not struggling nearly as much, or so I thought. When we finished, that’s when I found out that pushing on that trail is common place. Of course they were struggling, it’s what the Seven Summits is all about, but I just hadn’t realized it. Upon hearing that, my entire outlook of the day changed. Sure, I was completely exhausted after that ride but I felt accomplished and eager to try it again. Always remember: everyone struggles!
So what are the lies you tell yourself?