It's Not My Business What Others Think Of Me

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Let’s face it, we all have a bad run sometimes. Mine happened a few days ago down at the Pinnacles in Berea- aka my favorite place to run.  My run started off normal enough, but at around mile two I looked down at my watch and realized that my time was a lot slower than I expected. I just wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted and I got really frustrated. I’m a generally positive person, but at that point I was definitely not my best self.  I started to think about Strava and what people would think about my ridiculously slow time, which led me to spiral down into whether or not I should even be running. It was my first time having a bad run and it hit hard.

The most frustrating part was that my issue wasn’t physical, it was strictly mental. I just couldn’t seem to get my legs and brain to coordinate.  My stride was off and I just couldn’t focus on moving forward efficiently. I tripped over pretty much every rock and root heading down from the East Pinnacle. Self-doubt soon settled in and I wasn’t sure if I should continue with my planned run up to the West Pinnacle or head back to the car to wallow in my misery.

I decided to walk for a little bit and really reflect on why I run.

I run because it makes me happy. It reminds me of being a little girl, growing up in the mountains of Tennessee. Back then, my grandma would send me, my siblings, and my cousins out the door and we wouldn’t come back until almost dark. We’d spend the day roaming the woods, catching crawdads and snakes, playing in the creek, and occasionally fighting. Running through the woods takes me back to that place in time.

I run because I learn something new about myself every time I head out the door.  I’ve learned that the absolute hardest part of running for me is getting my ass up and out the door.  Once I’m out the door, I love who I become on a run. In my day to day life, I’m a worrier. I worry about everything- Mike, the kids, work, etc.  It’s just who I’ve always been. But, when I’m out on the trail all I have to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other.

Running has taught me not to compare myself to others.  We’re not on the same journey and everyone is struggling with something. I’m fortunate because my friends and family have been incredibly encouraging.   When I have a down day, they remind me of what I accomplished or point out that my run had a really high elevation profile.  In reality, it’s highly likely that no one cares about my Strava stats or how fast or slow I go.  In fact, people have been incredibly encouraging on Strava. And if they do care, well my grandma always said, “It’s not my business what others think of me."

I took a moment on the trail to reflect on why I run, who I run for, and what I can do to combat the pressure I put on myself. -Brandy
Brandy WhismanComment