Tuesday, July 5, 2011

define yourself

We were a little more than halfway to the top of Upper Yosemite Fall when I gave up.  My mind told me I was done - so I was done.  Thankfully, I had partners with me who set small goals.

"Keely, make it to that next patch of shade and you can rest." 

"Okay - we'll go two more switchbacks and then drink some water."

I felt like such an idiot but I made it to the top.  My people are book people.  We read about people who do great feats - we do not engage.  We are observers.  However, there is only so much you can observe from Yosemite valley, and I pity those who have not set out to see what there is to see.

I think of those tough hikes in Yosemite sometimes when I'm walking and doubt and the negativity creep into my mind.  I wonder what I am doing out there.  Who do I think I am?  Will anybody worry if I just go lay down under that tree for a while?  I'm tired.  I'm hot.  I'm hurting.

So I went online to see what I could do to overcome those thoughts.  There is almost nothing for long distance walkers out there, but there is a ton of info for marathoners.  Many suggested running mantras.

A running mantra is a short phrase (5 words or less ideally) that you can focus on instead of the negative thoughts.  I was reading through some of the runner's mantras when I read "define yourself"  and I knew that was my mantra.

For years I have defined myself as; injured, tired, busy, hot, night person, morning person, over-committed, etc.  They were excuses - - more importantly though I was defining who I was by a set of excuses.

This morning I passed a woman smoking a cigarette in her driveway.  I had just finished 3 miles and had about 1/2 mile left.  She says to me "I wish I had your energy"  and I thought to myself  "you do!"  But until she chooses that for herself I suppose she is defined as something else.  It's unfortunate.

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