Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm Not Like Them...and That is the Point

No wonder my heart has been so burdened.  No wonder I've been fatigued, dreaded and heavy in my spirit.  I wasn't being myself, but I have been relentlessly trying to be like others.


Around me, there are some seriously strong riders.  They can do super hilly and long distance rides whenever they decide to, and even do so two days in a row, and suffer no consequences other than the expected soreness.  I, know from experience, that I have to go by the gradual progression of adding mileage and hills in order to get to a certain point.  If not, the consequences would be (and have been) dire.  


When I was training for the Gran Fondo LA (6/26), I had that sudden right foot injury after my first 65 mile/hilly ride.  Since then my foot (actually both feet at this point) have never been the same.  Some of my friends were able to go on another long and even hillier ride the next day.  And they boasted that the post-ride soreness was actually minimal.  Wow - envy.  


Last weekend while I was still trying to ramp back up from the injury, another friend of mine did 80 miles and thought even that wasn't enough for the Vineman Aquabike race (Swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles) coming up, so wanted to 90 miles this morning.  I couldn't even do 40 miles last week because of my foot.  I knew I had no choice and I was ok with it, until I compared myself to my friends.  Discouragement.  Feeling kinda like a loser.


So, with my ego bruised, I told my friend that I'd do the 90 mile ride with her, as a pathetic attempt to redeem myself.  And the ride is today.  I have been up since 445am, getting geared up and ready.  It's 607am right now.  What am I doing writing this?


I crumbled.  I had to admit, after all the pondering, wondering and getting frustrated - that my heart is not in the right place.  That is the reason for all the internal fighting.  Usually, rides like this excite me, and I'm all pumped up for it.  Today, my heart is just NOT in it - not because I don't like riding anymore, not because I want to quit, but because for a while now I have been driven by my ego and envy, but not my heart.  Where is my hope?  Why am I doing this?  Didn't I say I'd do 90 miles because I wanted to feel better about myself?  Because I wanted to feel less like a loser compared to my friends who have been ramping up faster than I have?  


Comparing myself to others... is a dangerous motivator.  In fact, it is not a motivator - it is a source of discouragement and self degradation, ending up in both mental and physical fatigue.  I'm not rationally thinking about my physical status and what I can do given the reality, which actually results in going beyond my perceived limits.  Instead, I'm looking at others, wanting to be like others, then discovering how I am NOT like others, then just shutting myself away from achieving any untapped potential whatsoever - because then I am no longer driven by my heart, but my ego.  Such a tremendous attempt at one's best can never come from ego or envy.  It really is the heart that comes from the bigger purpose of the action itself, which, to me, is to share with YOU that we can do things, and that we are not victims.  I didn't think of YOU, but I thought of ME, comparing myself with people who are not me, and definitely not like you and me.  


As a result, I have fallen victim to my own ego that just kept feeling bad for not being like others.  Is there a worse kind of failure than this?


Such is the fight against our pain.  This fight, has to be a positive, heart-driven fight.  In every step we make, we must rather feel the JOY of improvement and excitement for new experiences, not the feeling of not being good enough because some are doing better than others.  I hope that I did not discourage some of you via my recent efforts.  I only say this because I have been so focusing on my achievements, not the process.  So if you're walking around the block and you read about me bragging about my 65 miles ride without the context behind it, then how would that make you feel?  I apologize for that!


It's 630am.  I am going to go on my own ride, at the pace I want and to the length of time I feel comfortable with.  Then maybe I will go for a run - at my pace, up to my desired distance.  And be grateful for what I can do, and who I am.  By comparing myself to others over the past couple of months, I have rejected myself.  No wonder I wasn't enjoying this process - I wasn't even enjoying my own body!  


Let's just accept myself, and remember that only I can be me, and that I am unique, and I have everything I need to be who I am...and just keep improving from where I am.   That is gratitude, and when you are at peace with that, God pours us with more blessings to our open and available hearts going forward.  



17 comments:

Graceful Lady said...

Oh Minnie - what a beautiful post and speaks to why your symptoms have probably worsened recently because you were having this internal battle which was draining your life's energy force. You are a m a z i n g and not because of what you do but because of who you are and how you are living life despite of or more to the point because of the hand life has dealt you. I love you so much and am so grateful for how well you articulated the journey in this blog post. Can't wait to read about the ride and the run. You are awesome and I am so blessed that LUNA reunited us. xoxo Mary

LaVonne said...

Very timely post for me. Thank you for putting into words what I am struggling with.

Tricie said...

You make me think of the potential benefit of a chronic pain fitness group of some sort. Major problem for you is that "we" would probably be so far behind where you are that it might work against your training. A general problem might be how little some people with fibro, etc. are able to do with their pain levels. Ummm. Something to consider.

Minnie S. Lee said...

Tricie -
I would LOVE to form a group for people with fibromyalgia to exercise together. Actually that is my goal in the next 6 months. For me, working out with people is not about getting MY training in, it's about sharing my experiences and help them in any way i can. And for people to get together and be encouraged to exercise...and share our pain and joy and everything else. Definitely something that is in the works Tricie! Thank you!

salsabike said...

Beautifully said.

salsabike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

I stumbled upon your post on the perfect day. I have been struggling with keeping up all summer and only getting down on myself. Thank you so much for your eloquently worded realization that the only person I need to worry about is myself.
Thank you thank you.

Tricie said...

Minnie- I'm working on a collage of inspiration for my wall and want the marathon picture of you for it. Will you e-mail me a copy? I'll be quite appreciative if you do. Thanks.

Kit Kat said...

I feel what you write.

Old Enough to Know said...

I compare myself to who I used to be, the me I had worked so hard to become and then knowing that it is me who took it all away drives me nuts. I have to learn to do what I used to do in much smaller amounts and be happy with that because it is better than doing nothing. I know this and yet I don't. Maybe today I will dance.

Pam said...

Fantastic post. We don't even realize sometimes when we set the bar for ourselves based on those around us. I KNOW this is a big struggle for me...it's a big waste of time. The good news is that I've gone from the couch to occasional exercise (jogging/biking). You are a unique, meaningful voice, please write when you can!

Minnie S. Lee said...

Yikes Tricie -
I just saw your request about a photo...so belatedly. So sorry about missing this and not getting back to you! I moved to a new city, started a new job, etc etc...totally got swept away from keeping up with the comments. I do love your collage idea..i'm sure it came out beautifully.

Tricie said...

It did. I used the mini picture of you on your profile :D. Thanks for following up. I hope that things are going well with your changes.

Fibromyalgia Guide said...

It is really hard to compare yourself to other people other than you have a condition that they do not have, everyone is still unique. So, just do anything in your capacity and be happy of what you have.

Fibromyalgia Guide said...

It is really hard to compare yourself to other people other than you have a condition that they do not have, everyone is still unique. So, just do anything in your capacity and be happy of what you have.

kaney said...

Fibromyalgia is a common type of chronic neurological disorder that primarily generates recidivating muscular and joint pain. Apart from pain, most people affected by fibromyalgia also experience a pronounced, generalized state of fatigue. In the incipient stages of the disorder, the muscular pain and fatigue generally occur in the upper parts of the body (neck, cervical region, upper back and shoulders), later spreading into other body regions (mid-back, arms, spine, lower back and thighs).

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