On Saturday, Tony and I ran a 10k with the kids in strollers. It was a flat course, and only the third 10k I’ve ever run in my life (the other two being The Great Columbia Crossing twice). I ended with a time of 1:00:46, which means that I did NOT meet my goal of finishing in under an hour. Next time, I guess.
I do this thing where I focus on the failure, not the win. I don’t know why. It’s certainly a part of my personality that has driven me to do better and work harder my whole life, but it doesn’t make for much satisfaction with accomplishments. I’m getting better, though.
I never give a compliment just to be nice. They’re always genuine. And I am a part of organizations (my business, Baby Boot Camp, Rotary, other clubs and groups) that routinely recognize people for their accomplishments, and when I have a part in giving that recognition, it is always genuine. For example, we recently finished our MOLO challenge, and we were asked to nominate one of the 14 participating moms for a special award. Many of us, myself included, nominated a woman who was between 5-7 months pregnant during the challenge and continued to run in every class. She did squats, all the ab work, all the cardio… she was amazing. I’ve told her how in awe of her I am and how proud of her (on behalf of all mothers) I am, and I meant it.
So why do I brush off compliments and accolades when they’re given to me?
Maybe it’s the nice weather, or maybe it’s because I just had a birthday and people are nice to you on your birthday (and repetition of compliments apparently breeds belief of them in my brain), or maybe it’s just because recognition comes in waves or cycles, but for the past month I have received a lot of recognition and compliments for the things that I do, and it feels really nice. I was given the Iron Mom award for MOLO because I am tough and work hard. And I do, and I should be proud of that. I am proud of that. I might not be able to do a pull-up (YET), but I am strong and I work hard and I love that about myself.
When we ran this 10k, people gave us high fives as they passed us going the other direction (it was an out-and-back) and said things like “Go family!” and “Nice job!” or “That’s awesome!” One guy said, as we passed him, “Aw, man! Passed by strollers again!” That last, in particular, warmed my heart in a glow of pride. Not because I wanted to pass people or I wanted that guy to feel badly about his pace, but because that was me. That was me at every other race I’ve ever run. I thought I would never be someone to push a stroller and pass other racers. But now I can, even at a 9:45 pace, and I am proud of myself.
Last night, my Rotary Club gave me an award, and as much as the stupid part of my brain tried to marginalize it by pointing out that 5 other people got the same award, the healthier part of my brain was proud. Proud that I work hard for an organization that I love, proud that I belong, proud that the others in my club recognize my hard work.
Pride may be one of the seven deadly sins, but its total lack is a real detriment. I’m learning to be proud of myself. I am amazing. If I keep saying it, I’ll begin to believe it.