11/19/19 - Pace Yourself
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Unpopular opinion: I don’t care what mile marker you’re at, you are NOT almost there.
Hi! This is Coach Sarah, and this is the Morning Mantra!
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Hi, my name is Sarah Axelrod. I'm a run coach and a lover of poetry, and a person who cares about your well-being. You don't have to be an athlete to be #coachedandloved, and if you need an anchor to hold onto as you move through a tough situation, you've come to the right place.
The other day, my daughter’s friend from school came over for brunch, along with her mom and her little sister. We had all just been to church together, and as we all burst into the house at the same time and hangry girls started fighting over Frozen dolls, all three adults sprang into action, trying to get butter and jam spread on bread to feed the hangry girls, in the hopes that the Frozen struggles might abate. What we knew but refrained from saying was that we were hangry ourselves, and our need to get the girls sitting and eating was also about our OWN need to sit and eat. And every time our butts were about to make contact with the chairs, another child shouted from the children’s table - I need milk! More butter and jam! I found myself absentmindedly springing from my chair to the refrigerator in an attempt to just GET THEIR NEEDS MET so I could take a bite of something. My friend, meanwhile, the mom of two kids aged 2 and 4 (meaning she KNOWS what the hell she is doing), stayed sitting at the table with a look of determination in her eye. “I am working on not acquiescing to their demands right away,” she said. “Otherwise, I would never slow down for a second, let alone eat.” This was, for her, day 4 of her husband traveling, and there was no race with two kids involved that she was remotely interested in winning. It was awesome.
I didn’t realize it until Coach MK pointed it out to our Runner, Interrupted members in the text message they all received today: this is the last “normal” week of 2019. Good god, she’s right. This weekend is the last weekend before Thanksgiving, and after Thanksgiving...well, there is AT LEAST one holiday event of some sort happening every week between December 1st and when schools close for the holiday break.
Am I ready? NO! Do I even know where our fake Christmas tree is or remember how to set it up? NO! Am I prepared to start thinking about who I am buying gifts for and what to buy? NO! Am I ready to contemplate the gatherings that I really do not WANT to attend, for Reasons? NO! Am I prepared for my imminent arrival in FeelingsTown, the place I cannot seem to leave from now until Mid January?
I. Am. Not. Ready.
But I do not need to be ready right this minute.
This is the last normal week of 2019, but that does not mean that I, or you, need to swallow whole the six weeks that follow in a single day. Six weeks is a long time, and if we wear ourselves out NOW, we are going to be hurting by Christmas time. If we give it all NOW, we will have nothing left to give well before the demands stop coming.
So, the mantra. It’s just the beginning, my friends, so remember that you need butter and jam on your bread, too. You have a ways to go. We all do. Whatever things about the holidays you are dreading, don’t rush through them (because that rarely makes them actually go faster) and whatever things about the holidays you love most, don’t rush through them either. The weeks on the horizon are not going to feel like normal weeks but they still have seven 24-hour days in each one. If you see someone holding a sign saying “you’re almost there,” remember that that person is wrong, and hear MY voice in the back of your head saying “PACE YOURSELF.”
Then slow down your breathing, find your feet, and remember that you are an endurance beast.
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You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And if you need MOAR reasons to believe that, follow @morningmantrapod on Instagram.