Many of you know that I have gone back to school to study psychology so that I can become a better resource on the topics of Overtraining Syndrome, Exercise Addiction, and mental health. I chose to study psychology because I truly believe that the root of all athletic evils begins with the mind. What we do to ourselves with exercise is less about what is happening on the outside than what we’re trying to prevent from happening on the inside. Buuuuut….let me not get too far down the rabbit hole before I share with you some of the things I learned while writing my latest research paper.
It’s Thanksgiving week and although I don’t live in the United States anymore, I have been inundated with friends and family expressing their anxieties about the holidays. It’s not just you, it’s everyone. Although, I will say that there’s a considerable amount of EXTRA chatter of nervousness coming from “us”; the runners, the athletes, the healthy eaters, the nervous, the type As, the in-trainings, the no-periods, the I-need-exercise-to-functions. It would be easy for me to say that all of your worry boils down to two things; am I going to have time to train on Turkey Day and how can I not eat 90% of what’s on the table because it freaks the hell out of me. But, it’s not that easy....we’ll get to that.
Aaaas usual, I am not trying to criticise anyone who feels compelled to produce any of the following kinds of posts on Instagram or their personal blogs. I see this stuff all the time out there and ya know, to each their own. But, I want to make a point here about the fact that there should not be an expectation that everyone has to do the same thing. So, here we go...here are the three things you will NEVER see me post about.
Talking about over-exercise without talking about anxiety seems a little bit like talking about a sandwich without mentioning bread. There are some who will read that and say, “I’m not an anxious person.” Sure, I know that there are those who do not identify as anxious, just motivated. I was that person once.
I sat across from her on the twinkle-lit terrace outside the restaurant. We had a view of the entire glimmering bay from our table, as well as the lush green mountain tumbling down below our perch. It was hard to imagine a cause for her knit brow in this setting, but as she looked down at the menu, there it was.
Here we are in 2018 and Instagram is a part of our lives, whether or not we have the right headspace for it. It might be a “fine”, even innocuous, presence in your life until you end up going through something rough. Then, it can be a thorn. Everytime you scroll, you might find yourself getting nicked by photo after photo of something that makes you sad, angry, hurt, guilty, confused.
We love a good makeover, don’t we? It’s a concept built in to our culture from the time we are children. We see Cinderella go from cleaning lady to princess. The Beauty’s Beast goes from hairy and scary to smooth and suave. Think about all of the shows making over human and house; from one extreme to another, all we need is a magic wand and it all becomes new. We need the “Before” so that we can get to the “After”.