Good day to you all! It is Thursday and I could not be happier to say that Thanksgiving cooking is in the bag and all of my Christmas decor went up this past weekend! It took me about three hours but it is done. And my sweet nephews, Braxton and Dustin, were there with me helping put up wall hooks, ornaments, the stockings, and the fake snow and figurines for the entertainment center (we do not have a fireplace mantle)! What a fun family tradition! Now, the only thing left to put up is a Christmas train set around the tree, but I’m waiting until we have some presents wrapped and under the tree for that.
Along with the announcement of Thanksgiving being over and things turning temporarily back to normal until Christmas sneaks up on us-and it will sneak up on us-I wanted to make another announcement. After much thought going into it, after running my 5k in September, I have decided that I am going to run the Rock-n-Roll Series Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee as a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Hospital! I’m on my sixth week of training…just twenty more weeks to go after this!
Now, please, before you start into the whole “but marathon running is different from a 5k!” and “do you realize how much a marathon is?” or “you know you have to train for that don’t you? you can’t just run a few miles a week here and there and then wake up one day and run a marathon”!
Yes. I know these things. I’ve considered them. And I’ve made my decision. I’m on my sixth week of training until April 30th.
This blog post was actually inspired by real life reactions to my friend Cathy’s announcement that we would be running the marathon at the end of April next year. A lot of people worry so much, and that’s wonderful that you are worried about me pooping my pants while running a marathon, or losing toenails, or damaging my body. But with proper training and nutrition this all can be heavily avoided.
And it got me thinking of how much it actually put me down more than feeling like support when people were saying these things. When you’re trying to support someone, the language you use is very important when someone is trying to approach a very difficult workout goal. This goes for real, everyday realities as well. But I want to focus on healthy living and excercise Here are things to keep in mind when someone needs your support!
- Be mindful of how you give your “expert” advice:
This goes for all of those people who say “you know you need to train for that marathon, right. Like, you’re not going to be able to do that overnight?” or “you’re not going to lose weight over night” or “you know what you need to do is [insert idea here]”. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But when someone is at the beginning of their journey, the last thing they want to hear is how much more difficult it is going to be. Trust me, there are only a handful of people who actually think they can accomplish a massive fitness goal in a short amount of time. And keep in mind that they’ve also probably done their research. No one just does a juicing diet without researching it. I’ve never known an active person to sign up for a race or start a new training program without taking the time to learn a little more about it. When someone says “I think I’m going to start doing CrossFit!” instead of barking that it’s dangerous or asking them why on earth they would want to do something like ‘that’, say something to give a little more push towards their goal by saying “Oh, that’s great! I heard a lot of people feel really empowered from that!”.
2.Keep an open mind:
Instead of starting out with negative questions, sound more positive when asking why your friend/partner/loved one who is approaching a new fitness goal on why they’re doing it. Instead of “Omg, WHYYYYY would you do THAT!?!?!” you can say, “what got you interested in setting that as a goal?” or just up front say “Great! what can I do to get you there?” Not everyone is into exercise. Some people love it and some people hate it. But when someone announces that they are trying to reach a fitness goal, keep an open mind. When someone choose a goal that is monumental and is going to take months of practice and training, the last thing they want to do is have to defend themselves on why they’re doing it and what they’re doing for. Don’t make them feel like they’re defending themselves the same way they’d have to defend themselves for liking the band Creed. It might be to overcome trauma,it might be to get motivated to exercise, or it might just be to prove to themselves they can. It was amazing when I told friends I was running a marathon next spring saying “we’re putting it on our calendars! we’re so going to be there”! It motivated me and it stays a motivation to keep running.
3. (If you’re up for it) Volunteer to be a workout buddy:
I find that a true workout buddy is like a gem that you have to search for many moons to find. If you have a workout buddy, hold on to em’ as much as you can. I’ve been active for ten years and I’ve only had three solid workout buddies in those ten years. Even if it means that you exercise together at the gym or just go for a class together but stand in different areas in the room. The point is they are there with you and for you and you are there for them.
So, when someone announces a new fitness goal, if you think you can do it, offer to be a work out buddy for them. Be realistic, though, if you can only go to one workout class a week then be honest and tell your buddy. If you can’t afford the gym membership, see if you can workout with them in different ways. Help them with running drills, ride a bike beside them while they run, chase after them with your car while they’re cycling….whatever works! It’s not always quantity of you being there, its the quality. Just say, when I’m there, I’m there 100%!
What are some of the things that you like to hear when you need the most support? I love to make my husband scream at me sometimes when I need that extra push with exercising, like an army dude sometimes to push me…he says ridiculous things like “You are sexy! get your Sexy ass up that hill!”
and it works.