Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Burning the Laurels Part I

For most of my adult life, birthdays were depressing days that ended with me making lists that said things like "tomorrow I will start losing weight" or "next year I will be 50lbs lighter / have a new job / have higher grades / whatever", then eating ice cream and going to sleep. I'm no longer depressed by birthdays, nor do I think about all the things I could/would/should have accomplished by now, nor do I compare myself to my more successful but not necessarily happier friends.

I did do a little quiet reflection, however, because this has not been a good year in terms of exercise and nutrition. I cut myself too much slack. I allowed other people's priorities to come before mine. I forgot to take my own advice about being selfish and putting my exercise and nutrition needs first, and my performance declined accordingly. I miss the mindset I had last year: the joy I felt when squat day fell on my birthday.

My heaviest recorded weight isn't on the front page of this blog anymore. That weight doesn't matter; it belongs in the backstory. I'm having a big bonfire and burning the laurels. My current fitness level is only good if I compare it to the fitness level of the me who ate ice cream from the carton, but I haven't been that person in over two years and I have no business using her as my point of comparison. She is so far removed from my current mindset we may as well be two different people.

The me who came home from the gym happily exhausted six days a week, who looked forward to leg day, who ate cottage cheese from the carton, that me looks at the current me and shakes her head in dismay. I should be doing multiple pull-ups, making smoke rise from the rowing machine, grilling chicken breasts in my sleep. Instead I'm coasting on mediocrity, buoyed by compliments from people who gasp when they see my before picture. I thought having that picture around would be good for me, but instead it makes me satisfied with the present, and I don't want to be satisfied anymore.


At 7:35 PM , Blogger Scott said...

I seem to recall using that word 'belated' at a similar time last year (the price of being in a different time zone I guess).

Happy Birthday.

At 5:28 AM , Blogger M@rla said...

Damn. I hate it when you're right. But you know you're still my role model; you might not be measuring up to everything you want, but I'm still in awe of your workouts, your intellect, your sense of humor, and your basic goodness, honesty, and integrity in dealing with the world. Not necessarily in that order.

And Happy birthday!

At 9:18 AM , Blogger Shauna said...

whoa... you are damn right about the laurels. that is such a good point.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to youuuu!!

At 12:54 AM , Blogger Alberto Caraballo said...

Maybe instead of training for a new you, train for something else. YOU might be just fine enough as is. Train for a meet, a new PR, some other performance goal.... Your body is not always who you are.

Happy Birthday;)

At 5:51 PM , Blogger Mich said...

Scott - thank you! I don't mind belated birthday greetings, they extend the celebration over multiple days. :-)

M@rla - Wow! Thank you so much. That's the kind of comment that makes me look over my shoulder and go, "who's this person she's talking about? Do I know them?" :-)

Shauna - thank you! I can hear the singing in that line.

Alberto - Sage advice. I lost sight of that YOU might be just fine enough as is. thing. I keep forgetting that I started this because I had strength goals, weight goals. Thank you.


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