Seriously, did I even just write that as a title? It’s totally cliche. I feel lame even submitting it to type, but I formulated some thoughts several days ago and have been wanting to share them. The title is lame, but maybe you will find the message to be better.
I read lots of professional triathletes blogs. I admit, I’m kinda a junkee in this area, but I’m just really fascinated by their day in and day out training. Hello, my name is Sonja and I’m addicted to professional triathlete blogs, there is a group, we meet weekly.
One pro that I read recently posted a blog on how he/she needs to be bold, and stop questioning him/herself…etc etc. I have read a post like this before from him/her, and it’s just really hard to believe that such a bad ass pro can feel like “lack of risk taking” is their weakness. I know they have lots of discipline, and maybe I romanticize their life (cause lets be honest, mine rocks pretty hard core too), but lacking risk? Really, racing for $ to pay your bills is a low risk lifestyle?
I really started rolling around in my head this concept of weaknesses. Don’t we all have that one thing that every few months we feel like we’ve circled back around to. We we were doing really well and then it… “degraded” and before we knew it we were back to our old ___insert what you want here___ (ex: non risk taking, overly risk taking, emotional acting, unemotional acting, procrastinating, Type A, overly analytical, under analytical…I can keep going here) ways.
I have found in my life that these “issues” are pesky. They are like Constantina Tomescu-dita. Remember in Spirit of the Marathon how she kept coming back, relentless little thing. Nabbed herself Olympic gold in Beijing as the oldest woman to win the women’s marathon at 38. But I’m off topic now.
Where was I? Pesky! That’s right. So, I have this theory on these pesky traits of ours that keep coming back in our face. In my mind there are only two ways to productively look at them.
ONE: When you love and embrace it, you can part with it. That was a little secret I learned when I struggled for years with weight loss. If you beat yourself up about being overweight, it just never leaves. It wasn’t until I accepted how big I was and where I was at and started to work on things in a positive way that the pounds melted off. It was actually pretty easy once I got my attitude in the right ballpark. No more negative reinforcement, love it, embrace it, and then you can let go of it. Everyones path to this place is different.
TWO: Our strengths are our weaknesses, blah, cliche. But…get this, our weaknesses are our strengths. The above pro triathlete may shy away from risks, but I bet that trait is countered with a damn patient athlete. I bet he/she is calculated and smart about racing actions and tactics, because people that tend to not take risks, also tend to not make stupid mistakes. Believe me, there is always a way to see your weakness for the strength that it brings you.
So, maybe number TWO has something to do with number ONE. Maybe understanding how our perceived negative trait is actually disguised as one of our strengths is the key to accepting it within ourself so that we have the clarity to move past it if we so choose.
Honestly I think labeling “strengths” and “weaknesses” is part of the problem as it judges and compounds the mental hang-ups surrounding those issues. Sure I get it, you swim a 40 minute mile and that’s clearly your weakness. But, maybe that 40 minute mile makes you one badass cyclist and runner because you are chasing down everyone in sight. Maybe if you had never been “given” that 40 min mile you wouldn’t understand just how hard you can go in the other two disciplines. Accepting that 40 minute mile for what it gave you will give you the strength to turn it into a 25. And when that 40 minute mile turns to a 25 you will know something about yourself that you never would have if 25 minutes had been handed to you on a silver platter. Believe me here…
Long winded, but you get my gist. Think about those supposed “weakness” (said with a roll of the eye) and think about what they are giving you, how they are strengths, what you may have lost if you never had them. Now hang on to all that good stuff and use that strength to move beyond, work harder, seek wisdom. Don’t wait for that day in the future where you will look back and understand what it was there for, make that day today.