Lately, I’ve been lucky enough to have some awesome people reach out and give me some amazing advice when it comes to this whole training for the Boston Marathon thing. Their words have helped me figure out what was wrong, what was right, and what just was. This advice has gotten me back on track and I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time. Last night was the proof I needed.
All of this amazing support has got me thinking about some of the great advice I’ve gotten in my life, running and non running related. There are certain words that have always stuck with me, some from people I didn’t know for long and haven’t seen in years. For all the great advice that’s come my way the past few weeks, I feel I should pay it forward and share some of it.
For all applicable categories, in all situations, these words apply:
“I know myself and that is all”. F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is the one I live by to the point that I actually got it tattooed on my body. Yes, that’s right. When I get out of the shower these are the words I see.
Sometimes it relates to running. I know my boundaries, I know my comfort zone, and I know how far I’m able to push. I know how to listen to my body, I know when I can keep pushing and when I’ve had enough. While running, like in life, you have to know yourself before you can figure anything else out.
“Train Hard. Finish Easy.” – An ex-boyfriend.
Now, this wasn’t entirely his quote. His motto was “Train Hard. Win Easy.”, but let’s face it. I’m not exactly a contender to win the Boston Marathon. This ex was addicted to training in his respective sport, and it paid off because now it’s what he does for a living. When we broke up and I didn’t know what else to do with myself, so I started going to the gym obsessively. Like, twice a day, for 3 hours at a time obsessively. I parked myself on the elliptical, because I hadn’t yet experienced the joy of running. I would grind away on the elliptical for 2 hours just thinking to myself “Go hard, lose easy” (lose meaning weight- when we broke up I was a little chubby). It worked. In fact, it worked too well. I lost 40lbs in 6 weeks. Not healthy. I should not weigh 98 lbs. I know this now.
But I always liked that saying, and I think it applies to a lot in life. Train hard, and by the time the actual race/game/event comes around, it’s a cake walk.
“Who cares if you don’t finish, you got out there and tried to run 26.2 miles. That’s insane just to attempt” Auntie Gina.
I tend to get mad about times, splits and PRs. I should have run faster, I shouldn’t have gone out so quickly, I should or shouldn’t have done a million other things. So when we got to Chicago, I was a bit of a mess. What if I don’t finish? It’s 90 degrees, what if I pass out? Thankfully, Auntie was there to put it all in perspective for me.
“Be with someone who makes you want to be a better person”- An old co-worker
A girl I used to work with was telling me how she knew her fiancé was the man she was supposed to be with. She told me the story about how his father had died when he was young, and he had always been the “man of the house” to his sisters and mothers from a young age. Even when they had to move to Boston for his job, he was never more than a phone call away for them and would drive 8 hours for anything they needed. The way she told this story and the way she said he inspired her to be a better person every day is something that always stuck with me. If the person you’re with doesn’t make you want to be better, ask yourself why.
For Life and Work
“Is there anything you can do in this moment to fix the problem? If there is, do it, if there’s not; then shut your laptop and walk away and let it go until there is something you can do.” Jim
After one particularly bad day at work with 5 angry client emails over a site we didn’t build in the first place, I called Jim having what can only be described as a minor nervous breakdown. Crying, shaking, 9pm on a Friday telling him I was convinced I was going to be fired. The site wouldn’t work, I couldn’t figure out what could possibly be calling it, so obviously this meant complete incomptetence and out the door I’d go. That’s when Jim delivered these little words of wisdom. And he was right. It was 9pm on a Friday, I’m not a developer, so there was nothing I personally would be able to do to fix what was wrong. All I could do was reply nicely to the angry emails, shut my laptop and deal with it the next day.
“Do what you love and fuck the rest”. – Little Miss Sunshine
Oh Little Miss Sunshine, you always put things in perspective. Thanks.
“Hey, you’re not smoking crack”- An old roommate
I have a slight case of OCD. I like things to be perfect. I want to be perfect. We all know that’s not the case. So an old roommate of mine used to put everything into perspective for me with the one simple phrase. Whenever I’d come home from class after a particularly long day, I’d bitch and moan about how I could have worked harder, stayed in the library longer or typed an extra page or two for the paper. His response “Hey Brit, you’re not smoking crack”. So the next time you want to get down on yourself about some little thing you could have done, think about your life as a whole. Overall, you’re probably more together than you think. And, at the bare minimum, you’re at least not smoking crack on the corner. If you are… how did you end up reading this?
There are others, but most often these are the little tidibits I look back on and smile. They were right. And I’m a better person for having listened.
What’s some great advice you’ve gotten? Running, life, love, I want to hear it all!