As the cold water filled my bathtub, I slunk down, trying to submerge my body. My running clothes were stuck to my body, sweat acting as an adhesive between my skin and the wicking fabric.
That did not go well.
My workout was a tempo run and while I did four miles at a hard pace, I had trouble sustaining a consistent run. I stopped between miles to collect myself mentally and physically. My old gremlin friends of “Who do you think you are?” and “Maybe you’re just not good enough” made cameo appearances.
Tears started to come along with desire to curl up on my couch and put my face in a jar of Nutella. Only I didn’t have a jar of Nutella. But I did have maple syrup. That would suffice.
I texted my workout results to coach and friend Sue, who returned only positives. The humidity was difficult to run in, a factor that was not to be taken lightly. And anyway, look at what I did do. I ran four hard miles. I kept at the workout. I didn’t quit. Focus on the positives.
And then, as I needed to focus on the positives, two quotes showed up in my social media feed.
First on Twitter from author Iyanla Vanzant: No matter what is going on in your life today, remember, it is only preparation. It’s all preparation for better things.
Then on Facebook from Authentic Development: Everything will line up perfectly when knowing and living the truth becomes more important than looking good.
Confession: As I enter the really big, hard part of my training program for a half marathon in September, I wanted to be able to post all about bad-ass successes. I wanted the hard stuff to be easy. I wanted the outcome and I wanted to look good.
Here’s the thing: Our successes and failures are rarely absolute. It’s all a shade of gray. It’s all in our perception. It’s all a matter of degree. It is all what we decide to make of it. Something better is lining up for me and today was preparation for it. Perhaps part of the preparation is the opportunity to practice focusing on the positives. And by focusing on the positives, I create more positives in my life because what we focus on grows. Perhaps part of the preparation from today is the opportunity to know and live my truth, regardless of what my time on a watch says, what those old gremlin voices have to say or how other people might judge me.
Perhaps today was an opportunity to prepare to more fully know and live my truth, and a chance to decide what I want more — to be myself or to look good.