Impostor

Ever heard of impostor syndrome? Wikipedia describes this as, “a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud.'”

Now, first of all, I don’t necessarily consider myself to be “high achieving” – by any means. If anything, I’m on the low end of mild achievement. I have a job that I am pretty good at performing. I tend to be a quick learner. I can house, clothe, and feed myself and my children. Sometimes I drink too often and spend too much money. Mostly I am a responsible adult. I would consider myself a pretty average individual. That being said, I regularly feel like I’m a really irresponsible adult just pretending to be responsible and somehow magically getting away with it.

…I kind of forget where I was going with this.

AH! Yes!

Running.

Those of you who have been following me for a while already know: I occasionally participate in self-indulgence on the Instagrams. I snap a selfie post-workout and share it with the World Wide Web in an effort to feel like I’m entertaining people – but mostly just entertain myself. …and when I snap a selfie and begin adding all my little hashtags (as one does), there is one hashtag that I hesitate on every. single. time.

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#runner

I’ve been running since 2012. And by running I mean: jogging while stopping to walk every 1-5 minutes depending on how often I recently have been “running” and my current weight and/or fitness level.

Every time I type in #runner, I feel like a total impostor.

Who do I think I am?! I’ve never run more than 5 miles at a time! I’ve never finished a 5k in less than 40 minutes! I can count on one hand how many times I’ve slogged jogged a full mile without stopping!

Runner. PAH! Right. Sure.

…but then, I realize, this whole run/walk thing? This is a legit training method lots and lots and lots of, not just people, but professional athletes use. People who, like, get paid to run. …are they not runners?

I guess it depends on your school of thought.

But today I vow to stop hesitating before writing #runner on those self-indulgent photos I share with the world. The fact of the matter is: I run. Sometimes I run a lot. Sometimes I run a little. Most of the time it is slow and some of the time it is slower. This Sunday I will run in a 5k “race” and I will come in close-to-last because I’ll likely have to stop to walk a lot and will probably end up walking a large majority of the last mile. Does it make the event (one I’ve participated in for four years now) any less fun and the route any less enjoyable? Of course not!

If you run, you are a #runner, dammit! Even if you run in short bursts at slow speeds! That’s my opinion, anyway.

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She lives!

Hello, Friends. It’s been a while. I’ve been thinking about making my triumphant return to blogging for months now.. I even drafted a post back in January that never got finished. The last few days, though, I’ve been especially itching to write.

It’s been a rough year, folks. The things most important to me that I’ve been working hard for over the last several months (and some things for years) have begun blowing up in my face one by one, week after week. Exercise has been a true solace, but some even bigger explosions this past week threw me off my routine and schedule and as life becomes more stressful I find myself bringing focus in on my body. This is certainly a pattern; things get stressful and my body image tanks. Is this because I think if I can’t control the outside world I can at least control my body? I’m sure that’s part of it. This manifests in what I do to my hair, the type of clothes I wear, and how I do my makeup; in 3 months I’ve gone from long blonde hair to a brunette pixie cut and while I’m not unhappy with my haircut or color choice, I am already bored with it and ready for my hair to be long again and the darker color to fade out a bit.

It’s a constant battle between controlling the change in my life and needing familiarity.

And as I hunt for familiarity, I find myself leaning back towards the all-too-familiar landscape of dieting and searching out exercise plans in order to shrink my body. It is a familiar punishment. A way to control my world by “controlling” my body.

I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to recenter, paying more attention to the body positivity advocates I follow, reading back through stories and articles that spoke to me in the past, trying to focus more on how food choices and regular exercise affect my mental health rather than how they change my body aesthetic. But mostly, I’m trying so hard to be patient both with myself and for the dust to settle from all these life explosions happening day after day. And it’s really tough. I am terribly impatient even in the best of times – but during times of turmoil? Oh, boy… any inkling of patience just flies out the window.

Basically this all boils down to: I’m struggling. I’m highly anxious, I’m sinking deep into a depressive period, and there is very little light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe by starting to write again, I can keep my head above water long enough until a piece of driftwood floats by.

Shrug