The Voices in My Head...and What I Say Back to Them.

Sounds kinda crazy, right?

But we're runners after all; we're bound to be a little crazy since we run far, or fast, or in circles over and over again, voluntarily, for fun.

That's a lot of time in our own heads, even with music or a podcast on.

And there's a lot of analyzing that happens before the run, during the run, after the run...

"Did I go out too fast? Did I hit that split right? Do I need to pick up the pace in this tempo run?"

Sound like you, too??

Then you're like me and you have voices in your head too!

It's not always a bad thing- self reflection is good and can help point out patterns of success ..or patterns of failure.

Unfortunately, it's the negative patterns that play the clearest and sound the loudest in our heads. Those voices like to grab the mega phone and shout it from the mental roof tops.

Until you take the mega phone away.

Yup, it can be done.

I promise.

Doesn't mean it's easy, but it can be done.

Oh, what are some of the voices in my head?

The usual.

"You're slow, always have been. Always will be."

"You'll never be able to run over 5 miles again. It's too scary."

"You're race anxiety is too bad; your body cramps too much. You'll never be able to race comfortably again..."

I know, some of them sound kinda silly. They definitely look silly now that they're written down. But I know since you have the voices too, that they sound very real, and very right in our mutual heads.

The trick is...taking away that damn megaphone.

Here's how.

You interrupt their monologue. You confront the lies. You change the story line.

Instead of failure, you have learning opportunities.

Instead of being too slow, you're learning patience and perseverance.

Instead...well, let me tell you how.

I've been running for 13 years. And during those 13 years, various health and life circumstances have taken away my ability to run. I've had to start again multiple, multiple times.

This most recent comeback though, has been my best. Maybe not physically (but I think I'm getting there), but most definitely mentally. Because I've gotten out in front of those megaphones and those lying voices.

"Practicing a new kind of gratitude..."

1. This time has been through practicing a new kind of gratitude. I always knew the benefits of practicing gratitude towards other people and God...but never myself. My own body.

I'm terrible when it comes to comparing my own progress to others. Moment of honesty: I'm quick to see how and what I'm lacking when I'm surrounded by my own riches (health, family, job, etc). So instead of succumbing to "I'm too slow; it's too hard; my body hurts again", I stop and say thank you. Thank you to my strong legs which have carried me this far; thank you to my feet for being quick and light; thank you to my body for working so hard." It's been...relieving, lightening, say these nice things to my body instead of grating on it, judging it, comparing it. It felt awkward and silly at first, but I noticed...the megaphones stopped for a moment. The loop ended. The pattern broken. So I continue to practice this gratitude, and a beautiful change has followed.