‘To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.’
‘Redefine your impossible.’
I cling to inspirational quotations as a way of getting through life, and often have them scribbled over my body on race day too. Those two above are the mantras I reliably turn to year on year as a way of getting through things and keeping myself motivated. Recently though I’ve been repeating them more and more whilst my health has taken a bit of a nose dive, forcing me to pull out of a few events and making me re-evaluate where I place my ‘self’ in my list of priorities (turns out it was pretty far down on the list…which I’m sure is something we can all relate to on some level).
There have been days recently where everything has felt like a struggle, and I think when your body is at that point where it feels broken and heavy, it begins to affect your state of mind too. I could see the warning signs but chose to ignore them until I hit a wall; I’ve been travelling too much, I haven’t eaten three meals a day for longer than I can remember, I’m doing way too much in my day job, I’m getting far less than seven hours sleep each night, I’m still heavily reliant on caffeine to get myself through a day and on top of it all, up until last week, I was still trying to train just as much as usual. So it wasn’t much of a surprise to find out that once again I was low on sodium and potassium, and was suffering from anaemia. Poor life choices really do equate to poor health.
The problem with getting yourself into that kind of rut is that it’s very difficult to crawl back out of it, because generally, the other pressures don’t stop existing. It takes real effort to make positive changes to improve your health and I just haven’t really been keen to do so, or rather I felt like I couldn’t do so because in my head I still consider certain things to come before my health…I’m under this naive assumption that my body will just adapt and learn to cope with feeling like this. Because, after all, I like to think that I’m invincible and that my body really can do anything. As it happens, being forced to slow down has helped a little bit and I’m beginning to really focus on fixing these issues…because I really do love it when my body and mind feels strong. And that’s a state of being I want to be back at as soon as possible.
And so that first quotation about sacrificing the gift, that’s quite important to me at the moment because by not taking care of myself in the appropriate way I am wasting that gift of being active, effectively sabotaging myself. And self-sabotage is no good when you’ve spent years getting your body to a state where it can race well. As for redefining my impossible? Well, recently my inner self-critic has been a bit too vocal; telling me I’m not good enough or that my body is weak and rubbish and not worth the investment, telling me that life in itself is impossible. But actually, that’s just the irrational side of my brain talking, and that side of my brain can always be put back in its box…which is exactly where it’s going.
So now is the time for a bit of self-care, some good nutrition, and focussing on what I can do, rather than what I think I can’t do.