Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Making excuses

So I have a somewhat legitimate topic to discuss, but in order to discuss said topic, I have an embarrassing confession to make. I love magazine quizzes. And I'm not even 13! I love them. I love buying trashy mags when I'm travelling and I read every. single. page. although I am well aware of the fact that my brain cells are likely declaring a mutiny and I am well aware of the fact that the June 2011 issue is exactly the same as the October 2007 issue is exactly the same as the March 2002 issue...whatever. At least I'm reading, right?

So last time I was flying, I took a very scientific quiz to on why I procrastinate. My results determined that I procrastinate because I strive for perfection, and I fear that if something is not perfect, than it is not even worth doing at all.

So the truly embarrassing part of this whole situation: Glamour/Elle/whichever magazine was absolutely correct. Really. Saw right through me like a pane o' glass.

I cannot even tell you how many cover letters I've drafted and never sent in because I felt that they weren't "just right," how many projects I've started and abandoned because I didn't think I could execute them in the absolute best manner possible, how many important conversations I've neglected to have because I couldn't find the most succinct, articulate, and sensitive words to convey my feelings.

I've also found this same procrastination tactic emerge in my running habits.

As I reviewed the training runs I wanted to complete this week and tried to plan out when exactly I could complete them, a little voice in my head kept repeating, "yea, but you're probably not going to do them all anyway." I'm so used to hearing this voice in my head that I normally let it float on by, but this time, I stopped myself and said [this is all in my head, I wasn't actually having a conversation with myself...] "well, why not?"

Why not, indeed???

I love running, so why is it so difficult for me to complete a training plan? Why do I consistently plan to go on targeted runs, hillwork, or speedwork and then convince myself I can just go run five or six miles at a steady pace, or, lately, black out and somehow find myself on the elliptical, more or less phoning my cardio in?

My attitude is that if I don't feel as though I'm going to do a training run perfectly, or if I don't feel I am going to hit my race out of the park, to mix my sports metaphors, than it is not worthwhile to even try.

If I admit that I truly care about something and am really striving to succeed in a particular arena, and I do not do so perfectly, then in my mind, I am a failure. Worse than that, actually - a failure before my friends, family and peers.

Well that is ludacris.

In all honesty, I would like to be faster. I do care about my times. I would like to put in hard work and see concrete results. Although I would be reticent to admit it if you asked me to my face, I do have a particular time in mind that I would like to finish the Queens half marathon in, and it's not going to be easy. It's entirely possible that I will fail. And I'm certainly not doing myself any favors by not taking training seriously.

Yes, I will finish the race if I don't train. Yes, I will probably finish within a decent time frame.

But I know that I can do better, and knowing that, I should do better.

So my goal for this month is to stop making excuses for myself, once and for all. If I want something, and I know what to do to attain it, the only thing standing in my way like a pack of tourists in Central Park, is me! In order to get out of my own way, I need to get over my fears of trying, of caring, and falling short of perfection and openly admitting defeat.

I'm not exactly sure who I'm trying to convince that I'm "Rico Suave," and since it's clearly not working anyway, I think it is time to give it up.

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