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I Don’t Have to Do THIS

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Hi, this is Coach MK and I am here to blow some sunshine up your nose before you’ve had your first sip of coffee! YAY YOU!


Today’s mantra is: “I don’t have to do this”. This weekend I was in Cape Cod with Another Mother Runner’s Train Like a Mother club, and a whole bunch of really awesome women that had done incredible things to get ready for this amazing weekend that happened to coincide with the Cape Cod half and full marathon weekend! Yay! So much excitement!


Until they checked the weather about a week in advance and saw that a Nor'easter might be rolling in. All of a sudden, it wasn’t about the weekend, it wasn’t about the retreat, it wasn’t about the travel, it wasn’t about having no kids. It was all about the weather, which we can’t control, and how that weather would impact the race that wasn’t even a highlight or feature of the weekend. It should have been a footnote. A little something extra to justify getting out of the house. I’m still kind of surprised at all the conversations I had with these beautiful, awesome women, saying “Hey! Who cares? Who cares?”


And they’re like “What do I do? What do I do, Coach, we go out there and the weather’s terrible! What do I do?”


And that made me think of today’s mantra. The thing in this world that gives me the most power, it’s kind of my superpower. It’s kind of my secret superpower, and you’re getting it for free, so listen closely. Here’s the mantra: “I don’t have to do this”.


I don’t have to do this. That is a freeing, freeing thought. It’s a powerful thought. It means you can’t control me, and nothing scares people more than making sure they know they can’t control you. Unfortunately, you can’t make the weather fear you, but you don’t have to fear that weather. There’s going to be a lot of stuff today that scares you. There’s going to be a lot in life that make you nervous and there are gonna be all kinds of things coming at you, making you feel powerless. And some of those things you’re not going to have any choice over.


My husband, gotta go to work because we need health insurance. There are all kinds of things I don’t wanna do, but I do them because my children need things. That’s called being an adult. Being an adult is a long series of things you really don’t want to do in order to properly care for the people you love. This is a hobby. Most things, other than those few critical functions we perform, are hobbies. And there are choices, and we have options. We’re smart. Most of the people listening to this podcast have college educations and/or a strong skill they are able to parlay into a professional career. You have something to work with. You are not powerless.


If you’re looking something down, like a race in bad weather, I want you to remember; “I don’t have to do this”. And if you choose to do it anyway, walk into that situation with an idea of what you need to get. Don’t pretend to be a blank slate. This is a mistake, and people make it. “I have no expectations, my heart is totally in the right place and so is my mind!”


Well I would argue if you have no expectations, what you’re doing is stupid because you actually do have expectations, what you’re doing is not recognizing them. If the only thing that is going to make you happy is finishing the next race you do in a given period of time, or if the thing that’s gonna make you satisfied - running in a nor'easter, the only thing that’s going to make you happy - is if it’s faster than the last one I ran, then you need to catch yourself and think really hard.


It’s one thing to be able to do that, because we did the training and you’re ready, but it’s another thing entirely to do in it in a nor’easter. In a nor’easter on a race, which is by the way, by the ocean. Just saying. Life is hard, you don’t have to make it harder. Ask yourself in any position that makes you nervous, where your anxiety is rising, tell yourself “I don’t have to do this, there will be other races”. And then ask yourself, “why am I so worried about this one? What can I do to get what I need and take control of today?”


I don’t know how many of those situations you might be in today, but I would dare you - double dog dare you, dare double dare physical challenge - for you to go find out. The first thing that scares you, the first person who threatens you, the first thing that makes you anxious or angry, throw your hands in the air and say “I don’t have to do this!” and take two big steps backward. See what happens. It feels good.


It also feels good to be coached, and loved, and winning at life.



Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her Marathon Selection Guide!

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