Monday, April 13, 2009

Psychology of a Run

There is a reason I wear headphones.  I know when I've run in groups of people that sometimes the others have wondered why, when good conversation is to be had, I've got headphones in.

Let me explain why.  My constant running partner is the evil genius who lives in my head, Shelina.  No, I'm don't have MPD.  I'm not schizophrenic.  

Shelina is this figment of my imagination - this part of me, embodied by a woman, who holds insane power over me.  She gets to hear all of my innermost workings. And she uses it to her advantage.  

Shelina came into my life as I was leaving the work place.  Unsure of my role as a mother and feeling the great loss (albeit by choice) of my identity of a career woman she slowly crept in with her self-consciousness, doubt, and insecurity.  Since then she has ruled supreme.  

So, if I run without my earphones Shelina's language of self-doubt fills my mind and every few steps, especially when push comes to shove, Shelina steps in ready to fill the void with notions of failure.  

Slowly but surely I am learning not to listen to her.  Slowly.  

In the meantime my music makes beats my body cannot ignore.  Kanye urges me to push it harder, faster, and become stronger. When Lady Gaga shouts out to use my muscle carve it out, work it hustle - well, that's what I do.   Robbie, Cascadia and even Miley Cyrus provide such solid beats that my feet cannot help but pick themselves up.  On top of that I round every corner thinking "What if ____ is standing there?"  I imagine someone from my TRI group, or E and the kids, or Amy and Sarah (my running missionaries) standing there cheering. 

And with each step the old Shelly returns.  And Shelina is fading in the dust of my confidence.  I even have moments where I am not sad about where I am now, what I look like now.  Rather I'm proud of where I am at.  And these are significant wins in the battle in myself.  

(PS - I hit mile 100 for the year! Suck on that Shelina!)

1 comment:

xJane said...

I've never named the part of me (or perhaps I should say, that part of me has never told me her name) that nags at my successes and tells me they're not enough; that whispers sucrose failures in my ears and tells me how smart & beautiful other people are. I haven't figured out how to drown her out, either. She's either there, a few steps behind me, but just out of sight, pulling me down, or she's nowhere to be found—at a time when her words would have no meaning.

I've got a few playlists that make her disappear (or at least recede for a moment), and a few meditations. Here's to the confident you who has vanquished Shelina!