When Your Season Doesn’t Involve Sports Bra Selfies and Ultra Marathon’s

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I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.  Today, in an effort to digest and purge, I pulled out my lap top instead of my journal.  Still unsure if it’s the right call, as I truly believe some things should remain private and sacred and true only for you and those closest to you.  And yet, here I am.  I just feel like someone might need to hear this…or read this.   And that’s just  something I can’t explain.

The past couple of months I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut.  It’s not un-common.  Life goes in seasons after all and I know that.  I’m a bit of an introvert.  A people person, but an introvert all the same.  I need space and time alone to think and process.  I’m a thinker.  I don’t always voice things on my mind, for fear of bringing people down.  I so don’t want to be a downer.  I think it’s important to share the good stuff.  The accomplishments.  The miles.  The muscles gained.  The clean houses and fresh kids and perfectly executed to do lists.  I honestly do.  I want to celebrate the victories of others, but not at the expense of minimizing my own, even if they seem small by comparison.  But,  I also think we need to be real and honest and raw about the ruts.  Because we all have them.  And guilt doesn’t need to be a part of them.  So by speaking it out and sorting through it together, we feel like we’ve got some people.

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The fitnessy world.  It can be an intimidating yet equally inspiring place to dwell.  It’s hard sometimes to pop on Instagram and see abs popping out left and right and the spray tanned(um guilty as charged. But people…I went on a CRUISE!! In March. So, spray tan is acceptable) Summer legs swinging across your screen(whereas, mine are more prepared for Winter and long pants and big puffy sweatshirts……because spray tans rub off).

You see fresh salads and good clean eats as people unite in an effort toward perfectly sculpted Summer bodies.  Transformation Tuesdays can easily inspire, as they should, but they can also make you feel a bit less than.  Like your transformation is going in reverse.  I see runner’s tackling countless amounts of miles each day where I seem to be struggling with getting a run in at all all.  I’ve been that runner. Tackling marathons and high mileage.  Like a boss.  It feels like a lifetime ago.

It was only last year.

The months since the New Year have brought more focus and emphasis on other things.  My dad is fighting a debilitating and ugly terminal neurological disorder.  Life has also brought more responsibility, drama, activity and a time where my goals have had to wait.  And it’s ok.  I NEEDED a break from racing and training schedules.  I needed to run because I love it, not because it as being dictated to me on a training schedule.  But now, my workouts are more on the “just do what you can” end of the spectrum.  And I try desperately to be ok with that.  But the truth is, sometimes I’m not.

I’m a trainer and we trainer’s aren’t supposed to struggle with working out right?  I’m competitive.  I like goals and things to work towards.  I love the thrill of accomplishing a hard run or workout because I know their purpose.  I love knowing why I’m doing what I’m doing beyond just for good health and because I enjoy it.  The thrill of the ride and the plan and the finish line runs deep.  And right now, I don’t have that.  And I miss it desperately.  See the conundrum?  Needing a break, yet aching to be back in the driver’s seat all at the same time.

I needed this time to be reminded that it’s ok if I’m not crushing 6 workouts a week.  It’s ok that I don’t have a “take no prisoners!!” sort of outlook on my fitness right now.  My life is important. Meaningful.  Fulfilling.  Blessed.  I love my life and wouldn’t change one thing about it.  I don’t need to run to be happy.  I don’t need a six-pack to feel complete.  I don’t need to be society’s version of “Summer ready” to pop happily into my swimsuit.  I need to be healthy.  And sometimes that comes from 20 minute workouts or walks with my kids.  Healthy meals with a side of hamburger’s all in the name of life is too short.  Sometimes that means coffee with friends instead of an hour-long swim, because I need my people, and a 10 minute run while the kids eat dinner in front of the TV is just enough for the day.  Sometimes average is just fine.

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We don’t need to be perfect.  There is a time and a place for training plans and hard-core attacks at the gym. Then there are seasons and times where whatever you can do is enough.  I struggle in this industry with where to fit in.  I’m not so into sports bra selfies of a flexing bicep(for the record..there is NOTHING wrong with this.  But do it with grace.  Celebrate your progress and success and I mean that from my core. You have worked hard and deserve to feel proud of that, but don’t be afraid to keep it real and humble.  It’s possible to do both) and I feel very much mediocre and average at times.  But you know what?  I know that’s a lie.  I know how I was made.  Beautifully, wonderfully and with purpose.  Just as you were.

My identity is not as a fitness professional with perfect abs or an athlete.  It’s not as a runner or the chick with killer quads or 25 miles per day.  It’s just not.  I’m a child of the king.  Given the lile I have for a reason.  Charged and challenged to live it well.  I’m the wife to Rob who is my “person”(Bachelor reference……go Lauren!).   Mom to 3 amazing kids that make life worth living.  And that’s enough for me.  I can be both competitive and passionate about fitness and running and racing and goals, while also choosing to walk with grace and gratitude through the seasons that don’t allow for those things the way I would like for them to.

So, I’ll accept my season.  As I pray you’ll accept yours.  I’ll do my very best to rise to the occasion, to stay healthy and fit, but to release some unnecessary expectations.  To possibly eat a few less burgers and fries in the name of healthier innards and less bumps on the old spray tanned legs.  I’ll cry when I need to and get more sleep(dang you Bachelor Finale.  I’m too old for this crap) and drink more water.  And I’ll walk on the side of grace.  Because Lord knows we all need it.

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And in the name of having a goal, I’m going to tackle a run streak.  I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but it was always overshadowed by “bigger” goals(by the way, a goal that improves your quality of life is a GOOD goal regardless of it’s stature.  Don’t get caught up in thinking a marathon is more noble than learning to run a mile without stopping.  That’s just garbage. You are just fine and doing amazing right where you are).  So my goal is to run every day from now until Rob’s Ironman, July 30th.  I had these big aspirations to train with him and that hasn’t exactly panned out…..so a run streak it is!!! At least a mile every single day.  Manageable right?  Yes. Attainable goals that are realistic for where you are in life.  That’s it.  So simple yet so good for our minds and bodies to shoot for something.  So go get it friends.  Let’s do this together.

Are you in a rut or season that’s a little different than what you’d like it to be?

How do you manage it and what goals do you set to keep things interesting?

8 comments on “When Your Season Doesn’t Involve Sports Bra Selfies and Ultra Marathon’s

  1. thank you Amber!!!! Your words touched my heart! Seriously, thank you so much for taking time to read and comment and to encourage me. Have a great Tuesday!!

  2. You hit the nail on the head yet again. Loved this post. You write the most “real” blog of any I read. And I read a lot of blogs! Keep up the good work Kelly! I always look forward to your posts.

  3. Thanks Kylie girl!!! Thanks for always being so kind to comment and send encouragement back my way. You have a lot on your plate. I’m learning that with every yes, comes a no to something else. It’s hard to know when to say yes and when to say no, but choosing the best yes(great book if you haven’t read it….The Best Yes) is so valuable to learn while you are young! You are growing in wisdom girl. And thank you!! We’ll see how long it lasts haha!!

  4. Katie,
    Ugh!!!! I’m SO sorry about Boston and your injuries. You know, the season I discovered a love for cycling and swimming was due to an injury. Girl it took me all summer long to learn how to swim well and love it. You got this!! Your body will LOVE you for the break (even though it’s forcing you to take it) and the best I ever feel is when I add bike and swim to my routine. You got this=)

  5. Sabrina,
    So I smiled the entire way through your response. I love the book of a comment!!=) I’m so proud of you for your first half!!! I love that distance. It is seriously my favorite because it’s challenging yet doable with life. I used to hate running too so I can relate but once you’ve conquered some goals, you feel like anything is possible. thanks for taking the time to read and comment!! Hugs!!

  6. I LOVE your writing. Thanks for sharing. First year of teaching, grad school, required trainings at work…I had to skip the half marathon that all of my friends ran last weekend because I have stupid shin splints. Of all injuries!!! This is just not my season for long distance. It’s SO hard to accept my “good enough” workouts but I’m starting to love running in a whole new way now because I don’t have time to do the miles I want! ALL THE GOOD VIBES on your run streak!! I’ve attempted that in the past but I always fail. My legs don’t like the every day thing. You’re a goal setter and a beast so you got this 🙂

  7. You go girl! You do you. I love how you inspire and encourage women to be the very best version of themselves. Not what society screams for us all to be, but to be who we are to the core. Seasons of life are so crazy sometimes, because like you said, we know we need them, yet we crave for something else. Each season always has a distinct purpose and prepares us for the next one. Thank you for sharing your heart today!

    And a run streak is an awesome goal! I have never completed one, but now that running is actually enjoyable, rather than making me want to cuss every second my feet hit the pavement (just being honest)–I want to give it a try again. A girl I follow on Instagram (roadrunnergirl) has been doing a streak for over 600 days! She runs at least one mile a day and her pace has improved like a crazy amount! I want to give it a try soon. However, like you said, this season that I am in tells me to recognize I need a balance. And I cannot beat myself up if I can’t get to the gym or to the park everyday, and I’m learning to find that. So that goal will come soon 🙂

    P.S. I just ran my FIRST half marathon a couple of weeks ago. And I might be addicted 🙂 I am even more excited that normal runs are now enjoyable. If training for a half did nothing else, it helped me build a good foundation.

    Sorry for the book of a comment today. ha!

  8. This. All of it. I was supposed to be running Boston in a few weeks and instead I am nursing stress fractures in both legs and trying to convince myself I like biking and swimming..

    Thanks for being real!

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