Guess what? Today is day one of the blog-a-thon! I have so much to write about since my last entry, and since I don't want to miss remembering a single, juicy detail, I have decided to make this week the BLOG-A-THON! The reason I haven't written for nearly two weeks now, is that I was having to exercise some exer-wisdom. I used to be the type of person who just kept stubbornly plowing through, trying to achieve that PERFECT result, even if I was absolutely exhausted. Well, as it turns out—life ain't perfect, and neither am I.
Soooo. As much as I wanted to get all this writing done last week, and catch up on the mountain of laundry in the basement, and canvas businesses for silent auction donations, and keep my household fed and happy, and teach my son his school lessons, and run my scheduled 27 miles; I had to LISTEN to my body, when it screamed at me: HELLO! I'M POOPED! REST, WILL YOU?
Consequently, I got everything in the above list done last week, except the blogging, and I purposed to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. I even took a couple of naps and canceled a couple of planned events. I won't be doing Caden or the LLS any good if I have to drop out of the race because I'm in a self-induced coma.
I wish, wish, wish, I had learned this lesson much sooner; however, my troubles as an OGER-achiever are as old as my eating problems. I remember studying myself into a state of hysteria in high school. I would look at the list of homework I still had to complete, and the tests and quizes I still had to study for, and I would be reduced to a sobbing sponge on the bedroom floor. My mother would encourage me to go to bed for a few hours and get up early to finish, but I would stubbornly persist—not wanting to go to bed until the work was done.
Later rather than sooner, I discovered that she was so right. Whether it's sleep, or a situation, or a job; we all have the potential to reach a point where we're better off stopping, clearing our heads through rest or a change of pace, and then coming back to the object of focus when we are no longer distracted by our own fractured thought processes.
The weekend of my first fundraiser, I had done all of my required running, with the exception of Saturday's long run. I knew there was just no way that one more thing was going to fit into my Saturday, so I instead planned to do something unusual and take care of the run on Sunday. I was supposed to go eight miles.
Well, by the time I lived through Saturday—taking Wade to work, unloading my bakesale/yardsale from the van, sitting in the hot sun for six hours, loading every back into the van, waiting for a jumpstart, unloading van, eating fried chicken, bathing children . . . yeah, you get the idea, I was done. Saturday night, my daughter woke me up four times out of a deep, tired sleep. When the alarm went off, it was lucky to survive the blow. I was NOT getting up. Other than church, all I did that day was sleep. I just had to listen to my body.
Monday dawned about fifteen minutes after my children dragged me out of bed, but I felt much more rested and ready to go. Later that day, I went to the track and had a phenomenal run. I had planned to push for seven miles, but I felt so good at the end of 49 laps, and ran an extra 7! I'm extremely thankful, that after all these years of denial, I am finally learning to be flexible and listen to my body's signals of fatigue, anxiety, and hunger—and learning not to mistake them for what they are NOT: weakness, vulnerability, and failure.
Perfectionism, at its heart, is selfishly motivated. It has just taken me SO LONG to figure this out (DUH!). Perfectionism isn't about the people around you, and how they are going to benefit. Perfectionism is about how great you hope the people around think you are. We all need to regularly check the motivations behind our goals—especially if we claim that our goals are about other people. Someone asked me this week what my time goal was to finish the marathon. My response was that I didn't have a time goal; I just want to FINISH! I want to finish for Caden and the many others suffering from blood cancer. They are in a marathon of their own, and they don't have any choice but to finish their race. I pray that in God's strength and some exer-wisdom, I will persist through pain, unexpected obstacles, and utter impossibilities, to FINISH the race!