Usually I think of my battle with the Inner Whiner as being an in-the-moment kind of a thing – a question of resisting temptation, whether related to food or fitness, right here and right now.
But now I see that this scenario plays out on a larger time scale as well. Because there’s a part of me lately that doesn’t seem dialed in on my 2015 goals – and even goes so far as to question their validity.
The script goes something like this:
How important is it really that you try to win your age group in those four races you picked out for the year? Aren’t you old enough by now to just exercise for the sake of staying fit? Why try to wedge races into the calendar when you’ve already got kids’ sports to contend with? There are more important things in life than competition, especially at your age, so lighten up a bit why don’t ya?
The trouble with my Inner Whiner is that she’s not completely nuts. The objections she tends to raise are plausible and can even sound sensible – more sensible than the course I’m pursuing, especially when sticking to the plan gets tough.
But the thing is, I’m only going to be on the lowest rung of my age bracket this one year. And I’m still at a point in my development as a runner where I can get faster before my age starts to work against me.
So if I want to do this, it’s now or never.
Yes, I could minimize or even abandon my personal goals in the face of an often frantic family schedule. But that would be a copout, because there’s always time to work out somewhere in the day, if you’re creative and dedicated. And if you’re going to work out, the difference between just going through the motions and working toward a specific goal usually isn’t so much a question of time as it is focus and effort.
As long as my personal efforts don’t interfere with our hopes and dreams as family, don’t my kids benefit by seeing me work for something that’s important to me? Isn’t there some value in trying to show them these lessons rather than just merely talking about them?
I think my Inner Whiner’s been speaking up lately because of concerns about failure. But if that happens, that’s a valuable lesson, too.
I’d rather my kids see me fail than see me give up because I’m afraid of failure.