“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

AfricanProverb

Check out my recent post over on the Running for Rare Diseases blog

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If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.

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I took this advice yesterday when I auditioned my own choreography for my dance company’s upcoming season. I’ve been dancing for forever but have zero experience choreographing. I was tired of pushing off the idea of choreographing season after season and sitting at each choreographer showcase with regret. So over the past month, with the mindset of “the worst thing that will happen is they’ll say no” and an extra push from my friend/co-choreographer,  we put together a lyrical/contemporary piece to Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over”. Country music and the dance world don’t typically mix, but this song has the emotion and musicality of the more typical contemporary song choices, and it just works.

And what do you know, it got selected! After the audition, I thought the scariest part was over, but the real anxiety set in after we found out the good news. It means stepping even further out of my comfort zone and teaching dancers our moves, determining lighting and staging, ordering costumes, etc. – none of which I’ve ever done before.

So next Sunday (after running my first half – not ideal scheduling) we’ll kick off the season by showcasing our piece to the company’s nearly 100 dancers. Then begins 10 short weeks of rehearsals before the performance! I’m excited for the challenge and to see the final piece (which is currently a bunch of jumbled thoughts and moves in my head) come to life on the stage.

What have you tried lately that scared you?

Going Hard…on Yourself

Take the credit you deserve. Take time to reflect on how much you have accomplished, even if you’re not exactly where you hoped you be.

This weekend I had every intention of completing my first 10 mile run. I have 4 weeks left until my half and I need want to fit in two more long runs and then use the last 2 weeks before the race to cool down. I pushed off running from Friday evening to Saturday. Then Saturday came and went and it was Sunday.

Usually, I look forward to my weekend runs – especially with the amazing weather we’ve had recently. But on Sunday, I just flat out wasn’t feeling it. The idea of reading my book on the patio and curling up on the couch watching football with my boyfriend was just much more appealing. Not to mention, my entire body ached from the hours I spent on Saturday choreographing for my dance company’s upcoming season (which will be another first for me – more on that later). I couldn’t walk up the stairs without limping, so the thought of running 10 miles was agonizing.

Last weekend, I was staying at my parent’s house and set off to attempt my first 10 miler. When I got back to the house feeling defeated that I only ran 8.5, my family looked at me like I was crazy. “But you just ran over 8 miles- that’s amazing!” Sure, I guess it is when I think about the fact I’d never ran that far before in my life. And when I look back at how far I’ve come in the past 3 months. And consider how great I felt after the last race of the 5K Summer Series on Thursday night, compared to when I ran my first in May and wanted to keel over at the finish line.

But I was being hard on myself.  Part of me was scared to get out there this past Sunday and fail again. If I can’t overcome 10 and if 8.5 felt hard, how am I supposed to run 13.1? And I can’t commit to this training plan, how could I ever attempt to build up to a full marathon? Bottom line, after not accomplishing my goal last weekend and not running at all this weekend, the guilt and self loathing set in HARD.

I’ve realized I have this internal struggle quite frequently, especially when it comes to workouts. While I agree you should push yourself and that training or reaching a goal of any kind takes hard work and discipline (if it wasn’t so hard, you would’ve already done it), I also think we can all be a little too hard on ourselves. If you skip one workout or go back for seconds, is it really going to change anything? As long as your good habits outweigh your bad ones, I think it’s only healthy to cheat every now and then. But if you can’t even enjoy the cheating because you’re too busy feeling guilty, what’s the point?

So while I’m going to continue to stick to my training plan as best as I can, I’m also going to try to let go and enjoy my runs, not stress over when I can fit them into my schedule and how long they need to be. I’m looking forward to getting out there this evening and hopefully running my longest distance thus far. If it’s not 10 miles, it’s not 10 miles. I’m still building up my distance, still training my body for the race, still running longer than I ever imagined I was capable of.