**WARNING-THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE**
If you’re easily offended, please stop reading now
I recently had another mind blowing epiphany when it comes to my personal fitness journey and it rocked my world!
When I started out on this path I committed to becoming a better me. Every day try to be a little bit better than I was yesterday. Level up my life. For a long time, I was quite successful, I quit smoking, I started eating better, I registered for and ran my first marathon and was up at the ass crack of dawn to get my run in. All was great in the world. 4 am was my happy place, it was my ME time.
And then, it wasn’t.
Lots of life started happening…all at once.
Looking back over the last few years, lots of my “goals” included “get up at 4 and run.” Many, MANY mornings I just couldn’t do it. Between stress, depression and exhaustion, I could barely get myself out of bed to get to work on time. Every morning that I didn’t run added to my feelings of guilt and shame. I beat myself up constantly. I felt like a failure. Seeing morning “motivational” posts on social media created resentment toward myself. What is wrong with me? I must be LAZY? I am a FAILURE. I’ll never accomplish my fitness goals because I’m not motivated enough. My willpower must be lacking. I’m broken. I was frustrated with myself and becoming increasingly frustrated with the world around me. I tried all the tricks to force myself to be a morning person and I failed miserably.
I was celebrating small successes in other areas of my life; I earned my Associate Degree, made the President’s list, moved into a new apartment, but I was still struggling with my fitness and my feelings of self-worth. Every early morning workout missed deepened my self-loathing. I felt worthless. I started to seriously contemplate giving up on racing altogether. That thought broke my heart. Races gave me additional family, support, love and encouragement. I honestly felt like I was failing my running family too. I wasn’t becoming better every day, I was drowning.
I didn’t really talk about this with anyone. I’m supposed to be the encourager, everyone’s cheerleader. Why couldn’t I do the same for myself? I just let these feelings of inadequacy fester. It was a vicious cycle and I couldn’t escape it. Every morning I’d see this shit:
It was a deafening noise that perpetuated negativity and hatred toward what I couldn’t force my body to do with any kind of consistency. The more of this I saw, the more I hated what I couldn’t make myself do.
Until LAST WEEK.
YES, LAST FUCKING WEEK.
After literally YEARS of beating myself up for not fitting into this fit life box and this ideal of what fitness is SUPPOSED to look like, it hit me.
FUCK THE 4 AM CLUB!
Fuck this motivational bullshit that breeds feelings of inferiority and inadequacy if you don’t conform to the InstaFit ideals.
Because you know what?!?!
NO, it’s not fucking easier to get up in the morning…for ME.
Mornings are NOT where I thrive.
Getting up at zero dark thirty is NOT my happy place anymore.
When something isn’t working for you, stop trying to force it. Look at WHY it isn’t working. Find the reason and fix THAT. Stop trying to fix YOU, you’re not broken.
The moment I gave myself permission to tell the 4 am club in my head to fuck off, was the exact moment that my passion for running, my desire to run, my LOVE of running came flooding back into my soul. When I stopped making 4 am an unattainable goal and allowed myself to do what works best for me instead of what social media says works best, running became a JOY again.
I no longer feel ‘behind’ on my training, I no longer feel like a failure. I no longer feel like a disappointment.
I did have a good laugh at myself though…WHY did it take me so long to figure this out?!?!
I’m now running in the afternoons after work and before I picked up the little one. And you know what? I love it again. I let all that negative shit go. I run the stress of the day away, I run to clear my head and ready myself for the evening. I run because I want to, not because I’m supposed to and it feels AMAZING!
If you’re one of those folks who pop out of bed every morning with a smile, ready to tackle the world, that’s GREAT!
If you are a hardcore gym rat that thrives on the 4 am scene, that’s AWESOME!
If getting your workout in while the rest of the world sleeps helps you conquer your day, that’s FANTASTIC!
If you are one of those people, you’re AMAZING! I applaud you and you should totally be proud of your dedication.
If you’re NOT one of those people…
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
If you’ve been struggling like I was, maybe it’s time for you to tell the 4 am club to fuck off too!
Find what works for you and RUN with it 😉