Training Detox — Learning to Live in the Experience
Over the years I’ve been a big sucker for all of the motivational quotes. You know the ones that show up in your facebook feed or that friends post in your private workout groups. Things like:
I mean, who doesn’t want to be a champion?
Yep, everything about my identity has to be proven right here in this workout….
Beast mode is ON….honestly I’m not really sure what that means. I don’t spend a lot of time around ‘beasts’…what would you define as a beast anyway? For me, Beast mode usually means I’m going to go get injured because I pushed more than I should have without enough recovery…
Don’t get me wrong, I still love a motivational quote. I actually write down quotes that I want to meditate on in my journal but now they’ve taken on a very different focus. Instead of punishing my body to get into a physical state that I think will somehow make me better, I’m listening to what my body is trying to tell me about what it needs, how to recover (read my story about a bike accident earlier this summer), and more importantly what makes me come alive. I’m learning to experience rather than compete.
Competition is not bad, I actually have enjoyed it in some form or another for years (read more here) but I’m burnt out. I’ve gone from goal to goal and I don’t even know how to just live in the experience anymore.
Last week, mother nature gifted Georgia with a few days of low humidity and cooler temperatures for late August. I took advantage of the weather by taking my dog, Bell, out on a lunchtime trail run at a local park. I was determined to be there just to enjoy the trails, let my body move, and get her some much-needed exercise. Out of habit, I turned on my Garmin watch. I was enjoying the wooded trails that meandered along the river when I felt the familiar buzz on my wrist. I had gone a mile — in 16 minutes. Impossibly slow for a relatively flat trail and immediately I went from enjoying the trail to mentally breaking down my run and why it was so slow. I spent a good minute or so worrying about my pace and future races until we saw a natural staircase that led down to the river. I let Bell off of her leash to go grab a drink and followed her down. I watched her play in the water and just enjoy every moment. I was reminded of WHY I stopped training. To experience moments like these instead of focusing on a device on wrist to judge my performance.
One day I’ll go back to focusing more on pacing and training. I love chasing the goal too much to give it up for good but for now the training that I take part in is more about teaching my mind to live in the experience than it is about what my Garmin says or motivational quotes on my facebook wall.