My tenets of living and training
Give credit where it is due, thank you Princess Bunny. I promised myself I would always have fun running. Those first few workouts back, laughing and smiling with my teammates, I knew that’s why I was back. I have always been addicted to the exercise endorphins, but the exercise endorphins mixed with friends, it’s a mega rush. I know the only way to get better at something is deliberate practice, but too often deliberate practice burns people out. Deliberate play is a blend of deliberate practice and having fun, except most of the research is for young children. I’ve decided that Deliberate Play is the future, that’s why I ‘always play’ at any workout, run, session, whatever I have to endeavour. #AlwaysPlay
Eat real food. feed the machine.
I remember when I ran in high school and early in university, there were girls who were self-conscious about what they looked like, and sometimes they would starve themselves to look a certain way. I’ll be honest, I was self-conscious about my body too at times, but never so much I turned down ice cream or chocolate. I promised myself that I would always eat well, I would eat balanced foods, I would not deprive myself of treats, and that I would be a role model even if it was only to myself. I think my ‘healthy’ attitude paid dividends in the end. Your body becomes what it needs to become, it morphs, it changes, it becomes what it needs to be. My favourite food is salad, because with a salad topped with protein and a variety of other things you can hit all your macro- and micro-nutrients. Just eat the good stuff, the stuff that grows out of the ground, stuff you can pick off trees, real food. Bottom line, eat what makes you feel good.
Don't you feel better when you know where things are, when your days have order to them? I know I do. I have a daily routine which includes making my bed, because when you're sanctuary is organized the rest of your life starts to come together. I use a variety of tools to help me stay organized and keep the various aspects of my life in order.
Make Choices, Not Sacrifices.
Long before I came back to running, I started living a life through a positivity lens. Life is generally tainted by and lived through the negativity bias. Take a moment to think about that, how often do you get down, upset, put off by something, when something negative happens? I try hard every day to let go of the things I cannot control, the things that can be negative, and if/when something negative happens, I spend some time finding the positive or learning from what happened. When I eventually made the decision to leave my full-time job to pursue running, I knew the decision was a choice, not a sacrifice. And every run, every practice, every weight lifting session, I remind myself I have a choice to love what I do and work hard or to see as my time away from conventional life as a sacrifice.
You can be anything you dream of, but you have to work really, really hard. I grew up in a house not with expectations but the support to challenge yourself to be great. However, to be great we were shown that you had to work really hard (thank you parents). I thrive on working hard, it’s not a desire to impress anyone else, but a fire that burns in my belly to be the best I can be everyday at whatever I endeavour. I know the only way to do that is to work hard. And I work hard because I am passionate about what I do and it matters to me. While my recent running success wasn’t traditional, it was still based upon a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (aka hard work).
You cannot do anything, and I mean anything, unless you've had a good night's sleep. Sleep can be your magic elixir to life. It's the only your body truly goes into a restorative state, and not only repairs you physically, but emotionally and mentally. Sleep is my secret (not so secret) weapon. With all the new research coming out related to sleep, it's so important to make this a top priority in your life too.
Engineer your own excellence
I define Excellence as showing up everyday, always demanding the best of yourself. And setting at the threshold so the best continues to get better. Excellence is putting in hard work. Excellence is not just being resilient (getting back up) but learning from mistakes. Excellence is surrounding yourself with people who challenge you to be a better version of yourself. And remember, how you define success to achieve excellence in your life is up to you.