Generally, people post their happiest moments on Facebook. They post when they look their best, when they are surrounded by others and having a great time, and when “life is good”. But what about when things are awful? When you have a couple of weeks/months or sometimes years when it’s just one thing after another with no end in sight? This is the reality of many..including me sometimes, actually often. My husband and I had a string of “bad luck” if you will, for five years straight. And even now, there always seems to be something.
No Judgement Please
By no means am I suggesting that people have to post about their bad times. I fully respect people’s privacy and choice to be reserved. On the other hand, I am suggesting that we do not make assumptions about people based on their Facebook profiles and pictures. Everyone has a story, we all go through terrible times and no one deserves to be judged. And for those that do post about their hardships and are seemingly searching for support through social media, kind words cost nothing. You never know how much you could be helping that person.
I may be wrong, but people may see my Athlete page and think that everything is perfect. That I am some type of Wonder woman, or a “machine”, and that things somehow come easy for me. Of course, I post happy running pictures, great training updates and often state how things are going well, so what else should people think? I am going to tell you a secret. With the the exception of being an Amateur athlete, I am just like everyone else. And to be honest, the past 2-3 weeks have been pretty terrible with one struggle after another.
I struggle too
I get overwhelmed and anxious when things get crazy, and I question my parenting skills all the time. No, I can’t “eat whatever I want” because of all the “calories I burn”. I actually put on weight quite easily, especially as I age. I too “fight” food cravings just like the rest of you, especially during PMS. One of my main challenges is finding balance between my family/work/athlete life. Not an easy task! Although, luckily, feet have recovered (SO grateful), but I often have aches, pains, muscle imbalances, and bones of out place that need to be put back into place! I need weekly (sometimes painful) athletic/physiotherapy for maintenance and prevention of injuries.
Recently, I had been dealing with my anterior left hip joint that keeps coming out of place which is pulling up on my knee and causing discomfort when I run. And then..my bad luck during yesterday’s Interval run. Hence the picture of my taped foot! My second metatarsal (2nd toe bone) droppped which caused the ligaments at the top of my foot to separate too much and they got severely strained. Sadly, I may not be able to race my 1/2 marathon on November 5th in OKA Quebec.
On the home front, the past 3-4 weeks have been brutal! My youngest was having difficulty coping with his sometimes crippling anxiety and went into “crisis mode” at school (he is better now). Then my dog got really sick with gastroenteritis and ended up having a horrific allergic reaction to a bee sting at the same time, on the same day! And now how I have deal with everything surrounding this sudden injury on the physical/mental/emotional front (at least it’s not a fracture).
What Works For Me
This is not about whining, nor asking for pity. It’s about pointing out that we all have our troubles, it’s how we choose to perceive and overcome them that matters. Yes, I have my five minutes of “poor me”, but I never “live there”. It’s important to understand that life can be hard on us sometimes, but we have to try our best to keep our heads above the waves. There are a ton of ways to stay positive and persevere. Although you have to find what works best for you, below are just some of the things that work for me.
Find one good thing in every bad day. Get help when you need it without waiting until things really fall apart. Ask for guidance and apply whatever you are taught. Be relentless when it comes your kids. I have two boys with special needs who require a lot of support. I don’t dwell on all the support they need. Instead, I make sure that I am giving them the best shot at this life, no matter what I have to do. Wake up grateful everyday! You get to live another day of this life to it’s fullest! Prioritize your health (all aspects) because if you are fine, your family will be fine. Lastly, don’t ruminate, complain (ok, maybe for 5 min, HA!), and never stay “stuck” even when you feel as though there is no way out. Find a way out, there is always a way!
Look Again..Always Look Again
As for my running, I accept the aches and pains. There is no way that one can train at this level and not feel crappy sometimes. I do what I need to do to feel better and move on. I continue with my passion for running because it’s fun, it feeds me, and I continue to learn about myself and the sport. The struggle is part of the story. It’s all worth it, it just depends how you see it. Just like with anything else. The “hard” is what makes it great! You just can’t let your struggle become your identity, whatever it is that you are going through. You always have the power to choose one thought over another. No one can take this away from you.
So you see..we are all alike, all connected in the same ways. No matter what you see or don’t see on Facebook. It’s not how hard or how many times you get knocked down. It’s how you choose to get back up and move forward with grace, resilience, and the newfound knowledge and tools that you have acquired through your terrible time. There is always learning, there is always something good in every bad…just look again.