Putting on my brave girl boots

True story: I was whining. For the record, I hold a firm belief that whining gets a bad rap. Strategic whining can be effective, for instance when the waiter at the fancy restaurant wants to give you once slice of bread instead of just leaving the basket for you to devour. (Doesn’t he know that I really, really need my carbs right now?) But in other life instances, whining is just annoying and pointless. It’s wistful complaining. It’s daydreaming with a negative edge.

It’s a mode I had been stuck in for a week or so.

Perhaps I just needed to go through the whining cycle and hope that my friends were still my friends when I was finished. Perhaps I just needed to hit taper in my training so that I wasn’t pulling intense three-hour workouts (on a light day) while trying to re-invent my work life. Perhaps I needed to catch up on sleep and step away from Parks & Recreation reruns on Netflix. (If only for a few days.)

This morning I was determined to start my day fresh. I couldn’t re-do those 50-yard swim intervals from Monday which were too painfully slow. I couldn’t go back a few weeks and add more hills to my bike training. I realized most of my whining was based in perception of my past and fear of my future. Have I done enough? Made the right choices? Taken it seriously enough? Or have I taken it too seriously? What if I fail? What if I miss the bike cutoff for the first time in my life? What if I make a fool out of myself?

Holy crap, that’s a lot of second-guessing and what-if-ing.

So I took a deep breath and thought about the present moment. (And immediately started singing the first line to “Need You Tonight” by INXS. At least my whining hasn’t affected my wit.) It’s time to focus. With less than two weeks until the Half Ironman at Allegany State Park, this is the perfect time to work on my mental game. And here’s the thing about my game plan — I get to invent the rules. Yep. I get to set my own rules. I get to make today mean anything I want. Sometimes the freedom and possibility can be paralyzing, like trying to decide on one item at a dessert buffet. But if I take a minute to relax, to think about what I really want and to check in with what I’m really feeling, I start to notice the difference between my real, authentic voice and the gremlin who is trying to get me to talk in circles. Trust me. I don’t need any help being dizzy.

This morning I clicked through one of my favorite websites, Brave Girls Club and found a fantastic post about making your own rules. It’s time I made my rules, pointed myself in the right direction and took advantage of what life was bringing me instead of trying to manipulate it into a John Hughes movie. Yep. Time to put on my brave girl boots. There’s too much to do to spend my time whining.

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