Hooray! It’s time for Fit Five Friday! Your five amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, Zenaida are here to make your Fridays fun!
We have a topic prompt schedule if you want to join in but not sure what to write about:
Five struggles I face in my own fitness journey
Vulnerability Alert: This was kind of a hard post for me to write. I am everyone’s cheerleader, but so hard on myself, so there may have been some tears in writing it. I’m sharing because I think it’s important to honest and transparent. Because if there is one person out there who can relate or feel less alone by my experiences and words, then I’ve served a purpose.
Let’s face it, whether you have a short-term illness or a longer, more chronic illness, this can really reserve us a seat on the struggle bus. When you are an active person, having a setback by being ill really sucks (ok it sucks even if you are not active, but it’s all relative) I notice for some active folks it’s especially devastating and hard to accept that your body might need some downtime from fitness to get well. A vicious circle in some cases where our mental health is concerned. I also notice quite some warriors out there as well. Let us be inspired by them, but also know when it’s time to listen to your body.
This one is hard for me in particular. I really wonder how some people are able to run, workout, go to their job, take care of family/home, blog and have a lot of engagement on social media. Perhaps I’m not quite at the point of managing my time well. Of course I do not get up at 4:30AM either (but I do get up now at 4:45 on my commute days). When I say I don’t have time, do I really not have time? Or have I not quite found the balance yet? If I can get up at 4:45 on commute days why not on other days (Spoiler alert: it’s because I like sleep and sleep is so hard to come by for me sometimes)?
While I try very hard not to compare to others and others manage (because let’s face it, I don’t know the whole story on someone else’s life), I often wonder what is wrong with me? why can’t I just manage it?
Not Having a Rhythm
This one kind of goes along with time constraints. To be perfectly honest with you. I feel like I really lost my own rhythm a few months into the pandemic. I was reflecting on this today actually; I had my health, my job, my husband, but I lost everything else. I lost my gym dates, I lost my running club, I lost my training group, there was no in-person meetings/ get togethers for a long time. My mental health wasn’t that great in the first place, because, well, I was struggling in 2019 with depression and injury and then 2020 hit and it was like, “oh, you’re not ready to be strong on your own? too bad!”. I think there were periods of effort but eventually it all felt like it was spiralling. I really haven’t had a rhythm for a while now.
With my new job, it’s also been tough. I don’t have the same flexibility I had at my last job (but that’s the ONLY thing I miss), plus I need to be in the office 1 – 2 days a week. I WANT to have a rhythm, that’s the important thing – and now I have to create it.
Anyone who’s basically had to start their running journey over knows this is a huge struggle. How do we remove the memories from our brain? How do we just forget about the times when running wasn’t a struggle? When 5K was the minimum you would run 3 – 6 times a week and then 10K became the new 5K? How do you go from running “fast enough” to belong in a running club to what some people do as a fast walk? It’s hard. I’m sad. However there will be a time soon enough where I’m able to let go of all that and just start again. And reflect back that I actually love it, that it made me feel good and that I am still a runner regardless of my pace.
Embarrassment/ Low Self-Esteem
Full disclosure, one of my biggest struggles is the embarassement and low self-esteem I have at the moment with regards to my body. On the one hand I am trying very hard to step out of diet culture and accept me and my body how I am at this stage in my life. On the other hand I don’t recognise myself sometimes. Really, truly, honestly, I feel like my body completely abandoned me.
The ironic part of it all is that if a friend were telling me that she felt embarrassed about her body/ weight gain / slowness, etc. I would be kind and loving and I would tell her it doesn’t matter. None of those things matter. What matters is that you do what brings you joy.
If I’m a better friend to myself, perhaps this will ease the struggle. Work In Progress, friends.
What is something you struggle with right now? Share and maybe we can ease the burden together.
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All very valid reasons.
I sat for me it’s time.
But when I think about it more, it’s really mindset as Michelle notes.
I could follow a training plan. I could work out.
But my mind says: not today.
mindset is HUGE. and if I stay in the negative mindset it will definitely be harder.
It is not easy to come back to running and start over. I have had to do this after injury a few times. We all have different motivation for wanting to get out there and run. There is a lot of pressure to run to train for races but some choose not to do that. One of the things I love about running is that there is no right way to do it. Meaning, run long, run short. Race or don’t race. Run on a treadmill or run outside Hope you find a rhythm that makes you happy and excited again.
It’s definitely hard to start over. I think this is the hardest it’s felt mentally and physically. But you are so, so right. There is no right or wrong way. So thank you for saying that because I’m going to remember this each time I go out.
I can relate to this one. One of my struggles is setting goals for where I am versus where I used to be. I know I still run really well for my age but I compare myself to my younger self (and my friends who are my age) and think I should be faster, I also struggle with accepting changes in my body with age – I try to be grateful and more “body positive” and know I’m in good shape but it’s still hard.
I hope you find your joy in running/walking again!
I had no idea Erica! You now it’s funny because I think “slow” runners never consider that “fast” runners might actually be struggling tool. and I’m so glad you mention it because it changes my perspective. Comparison effects all of us and we all have the potential to struggle with that. thank you so much for sharing that x
Hey, FrIeNd, we got you <3 We all go through phases of various struggles…big or small, they’re all relative. Myself, I’m frustrated (for lack of a better word) with my mileage. Granted, I am rallying back from a weird glute/hamstring setback of sorts, and I just finished another winter run streak. My body feels good, but I know it’s ready for some downtime…but the lower-than-usual numbers are still challenging to acknowledge, especially when I see so many others pushing through and logging much higher numbers. Alas, we gotta do what works for US (and not for others), right? :-)
we definitely need to just focus on us and what we ourselves can do. Don’t underestimate just how much your body and MIND might need when going through periods of injury or stress. I definitely need to remind myself of that daily. Thank you so much, I’m glad we have each other for support.
Well, Renee, I can tell you this. I’ve been really consistent with my workouts, but my house has completely fallen apart these last couple of weeks. It’s a complete mess, the Christmas stuff is half taken down but some things are still lying around haphazardly , the outdoor lights are still half-up… it’s a disaster. Some people would never be able to live like this, but I’ve just let it go while I prioritize other things (for now.) So that’s how I deal with time constraints.
Right now my 5K pace is what my half marathon pace was a few years ago… and this was my MARATHON pace in my 30s. It’s very, very frustrating and I’m trying to figure out why I’ve slowed down so much, and decide if I’m going to fix it or just accept it. So, on my blog it might look like everything is great, but there’s some struggling going on as well. You are not alone!
Ah Jenny, thank you. Also part of my “problem” is that things are often a mess or disorganised at home. But I make daily choices and some days I may fold 27 loads of laundry and other days I may choose for a bike ride. So I really understand how other things are prioritised. It’s a personal choice what you do with your time.
As for being slower as we age – isn’t this just such a mind*ck??? I don’t even need to be as “fast” as I was, I just want a bit of it back. Maybe it comes when we let go of any expectations?
Ah Renee I so appreciate your honesty. I have a hard time with not running paces the way I used to and the struggles with injury and that cycle of starting over is exhausting. Going down that rabbit hole of comparison – either with your former self or others – can feel so defeating. I returned to commuting to the office 1 or 2 days/week about a year ago and I’m still trying to find a rhythm on those days. I’m learning to let go of “shoulds” and do what I can, where I am right now. I say give yourself some grace and do what works for you.
Thanks Michelle. Good point on learning to let go of “shoulds”. I’m going to keep that in mind.
I can definitely relate to you on the time constraints + not having found a rhythm yet. I think once I get back into the swing of things, it’ll become a habit again (slowly but surely), but the getting there + starting back up is so difficult!
indeed it’s the initial getting there that seems to be the challenge!
These are all real hurdles. It can be hard to treat yourself with compassion and kindness, but it’s important. I am making an effort to tell myself that whatever workout I do is “enough” even if it was less than I planned.
It’s not wrong to prioritize sleep. It’s more important than a lot of things you’d do if you got up earlier.
Thanks Coco. It’ a work in progress for sure. It’s nice to know that others understand. x
Thank you for your honesty and for sharing this with us. Please be kind to yourself the same way you would be to others. Think of all of the races you’ve done – you did a freaking’ marathon not too long ago. That was amazing.
I know it was hard, but everyone says the same thing about them. Hugs!
This is so very relatable to me. I’m a mom of 2 kids, 2 and 5, work full time, blog, and try to have a social life, too. It’s a lot of balls to keep in the air and it’s very hard. I have struggled to exercise as frequently as I would like to. Pre-kids I was very active – ran marathons, did tris, worked out 5-6 times/week. Now I strive for 3-4 workouts which is still challenging. I so badly want to be one of those people who gets up at 4:45 to exercise, but I just can’t. I would run myself into the ground. If I absolutely had to, like you have to in order to commute to work, I would, but I could not choose to get up that early. Sometimes I read posts from others who consistently get up that early and go to bed later than me and I just think HOW!!!!!
Sorry that it took me a while to see your comment! When there are major changes in our life, it is really so hard to get that rhythm back. now that you have kids obviously your priorities have changed, but that doesn’t mean you miss part of the life ‘before’! and I totally understand that because I always wonder HOW!! haha! thank you so much for dropping by!
Completely and totally relatable for me. I miss running so much right now. It affects my mental health so much when I can’t run. I have struggled with ankle and foot pain for over a year that made my running barely existant last year. Every time I’d inch my mileage up the pain returned. I finally had an MRI and have had ankle surgery on both of my feet this year, I cannot wait to be able to run again!
I used to get up at 4 am and run before work. I had a reputation for endless energy and now here I am being forced to sit and rest. My cast comes off next week and I’m determined to make my return to running, but my priority is my health and being kinder to my body.
I’m hoping to network with other bloggers and setting a goal to partake in next week’s FFF, but figured I should at least start saying hello.
Hey Teresa, sorry it took me a while to see your comment! I truly hope your issues are solved and you can start running again. amazing how closely tied to our mental health it is! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your honest reply.
Your welcome and I hope to stop by again.
that would be lovely :)
This post really resonated with me, Renée! It’s hard to “do it all” and “fit it all in” and I am sure that we get a bit of a skewed image just judging from other people’s blogs and social media posts… but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re setting high standards for ourselves. I am not sure what the solution is other than to remind ourselves that we’re doing our best, that we’re on different journeys and that we’re always just competing with ourselves ;)