There are some quotes that just stick with you. For me, right now it is this: “Bringing integrity back to your running means you have to stop worrying about where you should be and own where you are.” (Lauren Fleshman, Compete Training Journal). The thing about a good quote is that it will challenge your thinking and break you out of your status quo. Certainly, this has been the case for me.
I came across the quote during a New Year’s running reboot. After Chicago, I craved a break from regimented training. I ran for fun. If I was really feeling it, I would run farther. If it was one of those “blah” winter days, I’d swap in a cross-training session instead. To say that I did not push myself much is an understatement. And while freeing in a sense, that “break” coupled with holiday indulgences left me on January 1 feeling very far away from where I thought I should be. In short, rested and rejuvenated, I had head full of aspirational goals and a body that no longer was equipped to deliver.
And there was no hiding from it.
In that moment, I had a choice. I could ignore the signs and let the downward slide continue or, best case, just maintain. Or I could turn a blind eye to the facts and push myself too hard, too fast, risking frustration or injury.
Or I could own it.
Integrity requires honesty, and most especially being honest with yourself. Where are you as a runner (if that’s your thing)? But even beyond running, where do you sit in relation to other life roles? Who do you want to be? What do you want to achieve? What have you done to meet your goals, or, more important, where have you fallen short in your attempts to get there? If you aren’t where you want to be, why? And what are you prepared to do about it?
Then once you’ve owned up to these questions, accept the results. Because chances are that even if you are not where you think you should be, or where you want to be, you are, in fact, better off and farther along in your journey than you think. But, as in all matters of life, if you want to get to where you want to go, you have to know your starting point. Fundamentally, it requires you to accept what brought you to today, and to take ownership over where you are headed tomorrow.
Owning it – whatever “it” is – is powerful. Owning it puts you in control. Owning it gives you a starting point from which possibilities arise. Owning it gives you strength of character and strength of purpose.
Own it. Build on it. Better it.