I received a comment on a recent blog post about how impressed someone was with how much I workout and I thought, “It’s not that much!” Then I stepped back and snapped back into reality. Yes, I do workout a lot (You could call me addicted!? Hey at least it’s a healthy addiction!) but I’ve surrounded myself with so many people who work out a lot too that it seems normal. You could call it my “endurance athlete bubble.”
It got me thinking about the power of your network. From my perspective, I work out as much as most people. I read blogs and follow athletes who do Ironman triathlons, run 80 miles a week or compete in fitness competitions. Most of my closest friends are runners or avid yogis or fitness buffs in their own way. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is like this. Sometimes I forget that only seven years ago I was SO PROUD of myself when I ran 4 miles for the first time. At the time, I was training for my first half marathon and most of my friends weren’t runners. They all thought I was kind of crazy for running 10 miles on Saturday morning instead of nursing a hangover with an omelet and possibly a mimosa.
Sometimes I need to remember that I should be thankful and proud that I can even run a 5k without stopping. When I was pregnant, my perspective really changed. It was interesting not being able to push myself hard anymore. I felt a bit jealous of my friends’ Instagram posts on Saturday mornings featuring long runs and even more so on Sunday mornings when they’d score a new PR. At times it felt like everyone was progressing forward in their running, everyone was qualifying for Boston, everyone’s stomach was flat and mine just kept growing. By the time I stopped running at 32 weeks, I was barely running a half mile without stopping and a 5k “run” would take me an hour. My belly hurt, I felt heavy and I truly felt just how high impact running is. Instead, I focused on things I was actually good at- things that made me feel strong and beautiful in my pregnant body. Yoga, barre class, squats, hiking. I followed more and more pregnant and new moms and my “bubble” shifted a bit. I felt my mindset shift too.
Again, this past weekend when I was sidelined from running by a cold that wiped my energy, I felt like I was getting back to square one. Luckily my new perspective after being pregnant has helped me realize that a few missed workouts aren’t going to ruin all the training I put in. I’m easier on myself now than I was before. Mike used to call me “The Beast” because I’d muscle through tough workouts and thrived on pushing myself harder. While I still very much have the beast inside me, I also give myself more grace now.
The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your life – they impact what you do, what you buy, what you think about and how you feel about yourself. I guess what I’m trying to say is – surround yourself (in real life and virtually) with people who inspire you to be better and who make you feel good about yourself. Always remember that social media is usually people’s best version of themselves and it’s likely that EVERY single day someone is doing something pretty epic on social media that may make you question if you’re doing enough yourself. We tend to remember those epic posts and forget about all the mundane ones (or all the things people do daily that are too boring or personal to document!).
What is your bubble like? Have you ever had a life event change your perspective on how you treat yourself?