Why do people judge when it comes to other people's lifestyles? I mean, if I am legitimately hurting myself, then please do reach out to me and just tell me what it is that I'm doing wrong and HELP me get better. Pointing fingers and telling me all I do is wrong won't really fix anything. You have to help me. Oh, and of course, by help, I don't mean drag me with you to what you THINK is the best, just helping me get away from bad habits is good enough.
Why do I say this? Well, lots has happened over the past year. Lots of changes, got away from people that are toxic to me and got closer to people that understand me better. Turns out, I was surrounding myself with people that run and who train with me, but in the end, people who continuously lied, continuously competed "against" me, and people who said understood why I do what I do, but really didn't. This is the thing: When I'm judged when I decide to not drink, I step away from you. When I'm judged because I run too much, I will step away from you. When I'm judged because I go to bed early on Fridays and Saturdays, I will step away from you... You get the picture, right? If you'd like to be part of my life, then respect what I do, love me for who I am and I'll do the same.
It was made clear to me today that many people just don't understand this easy concept. When a person has a full time job, yet practices running, hiking, climbing and other sports on a regular basis... I'd say that's pretty good on its own. If on top of that you get to eat fairly healthy, well kudos for that. Neither one of us is perfect and while I don't win all these races, I do have fun. My racing is not tied to winning so I can enjoy my race. My racing is not tied to having a roof and food on my table every day so I can enjoy the running... no pressure. I do it for fun. So if I don't care about winning, why should you? Here's a thought though, I do care about getting faster and more efficient (and this is just me) mostly so I can enjoy my race even more. Maybe, once I'm fast enough, my priorities will change and I will want to win. But today, I want to enjoy.
How do I train? What makes me different to the regular Boulder athlete? Well I rest on Mondays, so I usually go to work and come back home to eat a bag of potato chips (the Tapatio Ruffles are my go-to snack) and go to bed at 10pm. Yep, I go CRAZY on Mondays. Tuesdays I do some speed work with my coach and while lots of really fast people show up and I'm usually the last one to finish the loops, I try to put into perspective that my 7:25 min/mile effort is legitimately faster than my 5K pace... judge me if you want, I'm happy with that. Wednesdays I do recovery runs, so I'll run anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes (depending on what Eric prescribes). I take it easy, embrace it and work on loosening the legs. Thursdays I do another run... sometimes some hill work, sometimes some speed work with co-workers at the track, or sometimes alone and whatever Eric tells me to do. Fridays are off again. And I LOVE happy hours, so I go to happy hours (yes, I drink alcohol from time to time and I'm ok with it... so should you). Saturdays and Sundays I run longer. Sometimes it's a couple of hours, sometimes even longer and sometimes it's endless hours of hiking because I have a guy, who has a life as well, and likes to feel supported, and he climbs mountains, and so I go with him to get some miles in instead of doing intervals. Oh, and I usually eat crappy food on weekends (for example, last Sunday we enjoyed a gigantic meal at Hooters, and it was delicious).
And this is WHY I smile every day. So don't go telling me that running on trails is dangerous and I should stick to roads because I embrace my bruises and scratches from when I've fallen down. And don't tell me to stop eating chips because they're bad for me because I still won't stop eating them. And don't tell me that my lame 7:50 min/mile pace is not fast enough for a 5K and this won't get me to the podium, because 1. 7:50min/mile this year is faster than last year's 8:30 min/mile, 2. 7:50min/mile has actually gotten me a 2nd place in my Age Group (3rd overall), mostly cause I'm a pretty bada$$ runner and I got out there when it was cold and rainy and the "fast" people were too scared of the weather and I just decided to show up for the fun of it. And 3. I've always been a distance runner, so giving my all at a 5K is a huge accomplishment as is.
So why don't we all just chill, and celebrate a healthy lifestyle (physically and mentally) with a few drinks this weekend. Maybe with a morning run, some hot wings for lunch and some beer on the side... and maybe some pizza for dinner. And let's just have others enjoy their hobbies in whatever way they want. :)