So I'm training for a marathon and using the book The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer as a guide and it's been EXTREMELY helpful so far. The last couple of weeks it's been focusing on the mental aspects of endurance running- thinking positive, etc. And this week it had me make up a positive paragraph to say each morning and throughout the day EVERY day. Our brains are amazing... when we talk ourselves down we are really putting ourselves down. If you say, "I'm not good with names" you really won't be good with names- your brain listens to what you say [both aloud and internally] and like a computer it follows what you "program" it to do! So here's a taste of my morning mantra as of right now:
I am a marathoner. I run four days a week and never miss a training run. I am beautiful. I am healthy. I love my husband. I love my children. I love running and never quit on a run. I am a marathoner.
I'm going to put it to the test and see if it works for me- you should do it too and tell me how it goes! You can do it with anything- and whenever you hear yourself saying something negative about yourself, change it to a positive [instead of "I can't..." try "I can..." or "I choose not to..."
Also this week I had some realizations- I ran my first 10 miler and afterward I felt like I could continue running if I had reason to. I have more energy and more mental strength than I ever would have thought! And because I only do my long runs at 5mph, it took me 2 hours to run it- or 120 minutes. Well, my treadmill dash only has 4 digits... so I learned that even though the calories will wrap from 999 to 001 the time will NOT wrap from 99:59 to 00:01- it just stops! Also... when I am standing and bend over to touch my toes for stretching my thighs don't touch at all anymore- not even at the top! They still touch a little at the top when I'm standing normal, but I figure one step at a time. :)
And finally, I realize that some of you may be wondering about my mantra and why I need to positively reinforce myself in some of those things. I'll hit on one of those today- "I love my children." Those of you without children can never fully comprehend how hard it is to believe that sometimes. I've realized that being a parent is the most peculiar relationship. I can't speak for the entire world, but at least for our Western/American culture, we typically shun anything or anyone that has a majority of cons attached. We keep mental lists [and sometimes physical lists] of pros vs. cons and if the cons outweigh the pros, we typically leave, quit, or whatever. It is only in parenthood that we do the exact opposite.
[Those of you who aren't parents yet, get ready for your mind to be blown away with brutal honesty...] Children are LOADED with cons. Having children, being responsible for children, is LOADED with cons. There are so many negatives to children- and only very few positives. Those times they are asleep and you can think clearly because they are no longer screaming constantly and you realize you really DID want a baby... Those times they reach for you and say "mama"... Those times they say, without prompting, "I love you"... Those times they do something completely on their own that makes you burst with pride. But those moments are few and far between! So I find it interesting that if it was a boyfriend, a friend, sometimes even a sibling or other family member, we would shun them or at least interact with them less because it wasn't "worth it" since there are more negatives than positives. But when you've created that other person- when you have that deep of a connection to them- it doesn't matter that some days are nothing but negatives and other days you are lucky to get 1 or maybe even 2 positives- you still love them and you still want them in your life.
I remember my parents telling me I wouldn't understand how much they loved me until I had kids of my own. I thought they were silly- I loved my parents VERY deeply and I thought I couldn't love anyone more. But the love I have for my children can hardly be contained inside my body- it literally tries to burst out of me. I finally know- REALLY KNOW- how my much my parents loved me.