Trying to Let My Mind Run

"Oh, you're doing it again, I said to myself when I became aware of negativity, being careful not to rebuke myself and therefore wind up being negative about being negative. I told myself: Find a thought that serves you better." - Deena Kastor, Let Your Mind Run

I write this on what would be my fourth wedding anniversary.

My last post was hopeful of the future. Ready to face this next chapter of my life with grace and ease. 

Oh, how very naive I can be. 

After the initial reaction of freedom and feelings of endless possibilities wore off, fear of the future set in. Talks with attorneys of property, assets, who owns what, who is owed what...my god, anxiety and stress consumed me. Everything in my life started to feel unstable. Everything. 

The thing I relied on most, running, began to feel pointless. Am I wasting my time? Are my fastest races behind me? Will I ever be good at the marathon? What's the point of trying?

I questioned it all. I questioned my entire life that led me to this point. 

What was the point of the last 5 years? Why did I get married in the first place? Was I just too young? Did we not know each other well enough? Was this all a huge mistake? Is this it for me? Am I going to end up alone?

It would 100% be easier not to get divorced. It would be easier not to worry about keeping my home or my car, easier to not worry if my income were enough. But is easy worth not being as happy as I could be?

I was able to distract myself when running with my team, hanging out with friends, or joking with co-workers at the office, but then when I was alone I was terrified, and incredibly lonely.  

My coach and friend, Carlee, recommended I read Olympian and American marathon record holder, Deena Kastor's new book Let Your Mind Run. She said she thought I would relate a lot to Deena. Carlee was right. 

Deena talks about how her anxiety and fear would interfere with her racing and how she thought she wasn't good enough. She started changing her mindset and completely turned around her thinking towards running and life.

Deena was a high school standout in cross country and track, and had a good college career, but didn't think she was talented enough to be an elite runner and even quit running after college.

I felt that. There were many races and runs that I did not feel good enough, many times I considered quitting. I knew I was a strong runner, I knew I was fast, but in races I would stop pushing and stop trying in fear of failure, it's easier to be mediocre. 

But easy doesn't mean it's good. 

Once Deena began thinking in a positive light she began running stronger and eventually became one of the best female runners to ever live. If it can work for her, maybe it can work for me. 

I began actively trying to change my mindset, when I feel myself being negative, I try to change my thoughts to benefit me better, in every situation. If I start to feel shitty on a run I try to change perspective and enjoy the world around me, the conversation with my friends, remind myself how lucky I am to be surrounded by the supportive family Wahoo offers. When I start questioning the relationship with my ex I remind myself that this was a really good learning experience, for both of us. When there's problems with my job, I remind myself of the freedom my job offers, and how lucky I am to have income to support myself. When I get lonely when I'm home alone I remind myself of all the freedom being alone offers, and I remind myself of all the people who want to hang out with me and see me, and remember I'm really not alone at all. 

I was asked recently where I see myself in 5 years, and I didn't know. I have an idea, sort of, but really, I don't know. Initially that thought terrified me. I used to know: kids with my ex, living in Oklahoma, married...now, it's more open and unknown. I can let it be scary or I can let it be fun. I can let it be an adventure. 

I'm going to let it not be scary. And remind myself, all these bad thoughts are only in my head.

“Over the years, I realized we have it within us, no matter our passion or career, to build a better stage for success. Building a positive mind gives any pursuit surprising ease, lifting one to unimaginable heights.” - Deena Kastor, Let Your Mind Run

Big thanks to Deena Kastor for sharing her incredible story. You can purchase her book here. I highly recommend it. 

xo, 

AF