Friday, January 11, 2013

Guest Post - Amalia


Good Morning! 

As you read this, I am off being adventurous at Walt Disney World Resort. Amalia so graciously agreed to do a guest post for me! You may remember her from my Sporty Little Christmas feature. I have also  gotten a couple of very nice shout outs on her blog recently. I'll post links to the posts at the bottom of this. :)  
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Hi Guys! Im Amalia from Live Travel Eat and Run and I'm so excited to be blogging for you today. I'm a baker, blogger, runner, and general life enthusiast.  I make crazy faces, love to try to cook, and I could talk about anything until the sun comes home.  But I always wasn't this outgoing or self assured. I struggled with self doubt and being self conscious for a long time. I've learned to love myself, my body and my life through a variety of different means -- one of them being living a healthier life. 

Every once and a while I get caught up in the struggle with the two most dangerous words in the world. 

"WHAT IF" 

What if... 

Who knew that those two words could have such an impact on the way we think or live our lives? 6 letters total can have complete control over our mental state.

How many times have you gone to plan something, or to take a new risk, only to be deterred by what your brain thinks could happen? For example, I was running a 5km in Surrey this summer - it was an inaugural race and I really wanted to beat my original 5km time of 36 minutes.  Two or three days before I was overtaken by this overwhelming case of the what ifs.. 

Poor Manfriend had to deal with the whole thing. 

"What if I didn't train enough, what if I start up and can't finish, what if I get hit by a car, what if I don't beat my record, what if I pick the wrong clothes, what if it is too cold, what if we are late, what if I fail!?" 

Manfriend always comes back with sentences like "What if I buy you a unicorn? What if I turn into an elephant? What if we wake up in the midst of the zombie apocalypse?" While hilarious, Manfriend is rarely helpful with a case of the what ifs, which is why I have had to develop my own strategy. 

DEALING WITH THE WHAT IFS

The following are the steps I use to get rid of a case of the what ifs.  I write them all down on a piece of paper and complete the steps in order. 

1) Which of these things are in your control NOW? 

Of everything I listed, four of them are in my control.  I can't go back and train more, I can't control what the cars are going to do on race day, I cannot control the weather, and failing is covered in step three. Which means the only things that I am allowed to consider from this point forward as possibilities are not finishing, not beating my record, the wrong clothes and failing.  If I feel the need to worry about the rest of them later, I can have a worry break. A half an hour time frame where I write down everything I'm worried about and then stop and move on with my life. 

2) What can I do about the remaining items?  

I can plan.  I can plan to walk the whole thing. I know I can walk five km, so if I have to, I will.  If I don't beat my record? Well, there are thousands of other five kms held annually. In order to combat this what if, I just change my mindset to -- I am going to finish. That's all I want to do now. A PR would be lovely but if I don't have it then I am not failing, because my goal is to finish.  If I set out my clothes the night before with a good look at the forecast chances are I won't forget something and be rushed the morning of. 

3) There is no such thing as failing. 

I've redefined the word failure over the years.  Failure to me is when you fail to learn from something, whether it goes properly or not.  Things rarely go as planned. If I set out to do a 5km, it goes miserably and I go home and don't learn from it I've failed. But if I set out to run that 5km, do my best, things fall apart and I go home and learn WHY, then I've taken an important life lesson from it and I cannot say I have failed.  Failure is not an option, because it doesn't exist. This is how I have gotten over my fear of failure. By redefining the word itself. 


OVERALL LESSON: THINGS NEVER GO AS PLANNED

Things never go as planned. And if they do, then you are one lucky person. 

I set out to run the WDW Half this weekend in Disney World. I would have left now, actually. At the exact moment I am writing this post.  However, life has a way of taking over with things that you can't control, and with things that even a good case of the what-ifs can't prepare you for. 

First of all I started training in September. I had multiple months to get ready and I was all geared to go.  There were many what ifs in the back of my mind, namely, what if I can't afford to go, what if I don't end up running, what if I get hurt. 

I did get hurt. All those what ifs and time spent worrying wouldn't have stopped it from happening. I got a bad case of the shin splints. 

Then as soon as I got back on track, I got bronchitis. 

THEN, I injured my leg. 

I had seven weeks left until the half marathon and I was seriously under trained. To the point where running the whole thing would be dangerous. So I made my list of what ifs, ran through my steps and redefined my goals to suit my new condition. I was ready to tackle it to the end. Walking, crawling, I would make it over that finish line. 

And then life happened. My grandma was ill, and I made the tough choice to cancel my half marathon. There would be others but there is only one of her.

None of my what ifs included a sick family member and none of my what ifs included me not going to Florida. But here we are.  So the overarching point is if you have to spend time on your what ifs, make it productive. Write them down, get rid of them one by one so that you can focus on what matters, living one day, one moment, at a time (also conveniently the tagline of my blog). 

Don't let the what ifs get you down. If you are running at the WDW weekend then I say to you the following: 

"YOU WILL SUCCEED and be AMAZING." 

No what if's okay? 

And that 5km race I was talking about earlier? I PR'ed by 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Take that, what if's. Take that! 

Amalia's Blog! http://livetraveleatandrun.com/

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