Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Over coming a fear and maybe having hot mom runner's legs?

Okay, I have a confession to make. I have an irrational fear or two (or ten). I am a pretty brave person in many ways. I know for sure I have been called tough by some, but in reality there is much that I avoid out of fear or laziness.  I am making it a personal mission to overcome a few fear as part of my road to a healthy/ happy life.

A while back I posted THIS: a reflection on sitting out of life. There are several things I really want to do, but have avoided due to some silly fear I have. Like the sledding in the post mentioned, I often find excuses and I rationalize not doing something because I am either worried or feel like it is inconvenient or most commonly I am afraid of failing or looking stupid.

But I am a big girl now and it is time to work on this.

The fears I am hoping to confront sooner rather than later are my fear of running and my fear of physical competition. This all developed in my teenage years. Growing up I was a wannabe athlete. I played field hockey, ran track. When I went off to college I taught jogging and conditioning classes and I was even a personal trainer for a while.

Does it seem weird that someone who ran track and even trained others to run has a fear of running? Well here is the thing, I was never really good at it. I have always been slow, never really enjoyed it, had knee pain while doing it, etc., etc.

The other struggle I have had since childhood is that I started the sports thing late in the game. I didn't have a dad who taught me how to throw/ catch a ball or shoot hoops. My mom was active with us, but we didn't do anything in the world of organized sports. I didn't even ride a bike much. In high school I quickly learned that athletes were cool, involved and respected..so I joined the field hockey team (I didn't own a stick or know even one single rule). I played, it was fun, but I was never good. I could keep up in practice and was in good shape..but I am pretty sure my lack of confidence held me back.

When it came to track I ran distance (the mile) and I never really tried. I never pushed myself and kind of half-assed races. Mostly I was afraid that if I tried really hard and still sucked, that I would be embarrassed.

But I always wanted to be the sporty type. My grownup self loves working out and lifting weights...but I have never really tackled running. I do all kinds of cardio..but running was my last choice. AND I was so afraid of looking stupid or falling on my face, that I dreaded and physical competition. I am pretty convinced that if you fear a sport, it makes you bad at it..even if you are physically capable of being good.

Until recently I had just told myself, if you hate running then just don't do it, life is too short to do things you hate. However, I am starting to realize that I need to try running again because I need to get over my fear and my tendency to avoid things that I am not good at.

BUT my primary reason for wanting to try running is for my children.

I have this vision in my head of my children attending races that I am running, cheering me on as I go or meeting me at the finish line. I feel like that is an amazing thing to show your kiddos....a mama who stays fit and isn't afraid to take on a challenge.

Truth be told I am terrified of embarrassing myself in a race. I hate to think of all the real runners looking at me as a slowly jog along. But what I know is that much of this is a mind game. I figure I know I am tough..I mean I did push out 3 babies without any drugs and I have carried my son up a mountain with out much complaining.

I can run. I am starting to believe this now.

So, what am I going to do about it. Well first off, I need to start running. I have a pelvic injury from giving birth that I am trying to work through. I am going to start on the treadmill so I can really track distance, time, etc. and go from there. Though I do not particularly enjoy running, I love to sweat and get my heart rate way up. So instead of just starting with jogging as long as I can and then walking (which is my usual approach) I am going to do high intensity interval training and slowly increase time and speed.

And the biggest challenge is that I signed up for this baby:
The Shape Diva Dash

It is a 3 mile obstacle course race put on by Shape magazine. I am super excited about it because it seems pretty fun and laid back. I am hoping that by starting small with something fun like this, I might be encouraged to keep going and challenge myself with other races. My husband and I are talking about doing another obstacle run together in the future so this will be a good test.

So I will report back on how running is going. Wish me luck. the entry fee is paid and there is no turning back.

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