TORONTO August 15th 2014. Digital Champion Sally Seabrook lives and trains just north of Toronto in Barrie. Being fit and leading a healthy lifestyle has always been an important part of her life and running has played an integral role in that. Diagnosed almost ten years ago with hypothyroidism also presented a new set of physical challenges for Sally and running has certainly helped her manage the ups and downs. Committed to make her physical and mental well-being a priority, running has served a greater purpose and over the past two years Sally has been able to take on opportunities for competitive running as well. Sally is honoured to be a Digital Champion for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and determined to go the distance in 2014. Connect with Sally on Twitter @SallySeabrook13 and on her blog.
Running and my Quest for Honesty. By Sally Seabrook.
It has taken me the majority of my adult life to establish a sense of balance amongst all that I’ve committed to take on….marriage, children, career, and higher education to name a few. Ok, let me clarify that I have a sense that there SHOULD be balance but am not yet perfect at achieving said balance. I am; however, closer then I have ever been.
Registering for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and being chosen to represent this years race as one of the Digital Champion Ambassadors has given me an opportunity to reflect on my past experiences with running and my present efforts at balancing marathon training and life. During this reflection I have discovered something rather horrifying…I am one hell of a liar!
I’m not talking about the little white lies we tell to others in an effort to spare hurt feelings. Her butt probably did look big in those pants right? I’m talking about the ones we tell ourselves in an attempt to rationalize or excuse our own behaviour.
I am guilty and I’m about to open the floodgates of honesty in an attempt to shed light for those of you who may be short changing yourselves as well. Here are the biggest and most frequent lies I’ve told myself over the years.
I have small children.
Making myself a priority was a consistent struggle when my kids were young. Being a young mother I spent my time, focus, and energy being a good mother and raising my family. Like most mothers taking time away from that to focus on myself usually resulted in an overwhelming sense of guilt! On the contrary! This is a great time to instill the importance of regular physical fitness in your children. Find ways to make fitness fun and a family affair. Children shouldn’t be the reason we don’t have time to be active, they should be the reason we are active!
I’m too busy.
I had the good fortune when my children were small to be a stay at home mom. However, by the time my youngest began public school I was more then happy to thrust myself into my chosen career field. Unfortunately, this provided one more reason for me to rationalize a break from running. When in fact, this was when I needed it the most. The reality is that most mothers today are in some way or another a part of the work force and despite the fact that time is even more sparse deserves to take time for herself.
Oh no, this doesn’t impact my running.
So here it is, less that a year and a half ago, I was a smoker. Yes, I WAS consistently running at this point and lying to myself that this wasn’t impacting my performance. Seriously, what a load of crap! My aha moment came on Family Day in 2012 when I realized the extent to which I was willing to mislead myself and my health. I needed to take care of myself and I needed to set an example for my children. I QUIT!
I just ran 30K so now I can EAT ALL THE FOOD!
In the last year and a half I was REALLY careful not to turn an addiction to cigarettes to one with food. My recent marathon training has helped me do this in that I see food as having a distinct purpose: FUEL! I never thought I would have a sports nutrition plan but I do and have come to respect its importance.
So I’ve come to realize that there is tired and then there is “tired”. Both of them are important in their own right. When I wake up and I’m legitimately tired, as a result of potential over training, his is a cue that my body needs a rest day. I’m learning to take a rest day and not feel guilty, but rather respect the fact that this is just as good for my body. This is vastly different then I’m “tired”. This is typically the unmotivated side of me that just wants to stay curled up in bed on a rainy morning. This is where the push comes in and the reminder that I always feel ten times better when I’m done with my run.
Well there you have it. A progression of lies and excuses over the past 22 years that have often come in handy to rationalize not focusing on myself. Marathon training has been an illuminating journey of self-discovery where self-importance has become prominent and my quest for balance seems actually possible. Although, many who look at my weekly running mileage may argue an imbalance has swung the other way, those are the people still curled up “tired” in their beds.