Posted tagged ‘humble brag’

Leap of Faith

March 1, 2011

I registered for the Twin Lights Half Marathon last week.  I know the route.  It begins at Good Harbor Beach and follows along route 127A right through downtown Rockport to Phillip’s Ave., looping there and returning along the same route, ending back at Good Harbor.  I run much of this route almost every day.  And I have run longer than 13.1 miles many times.  Yet, since the moment I started to fill out the application online, I have felt the flutter of butterflies in my stomach.  Well, maybe not butterflies, maybe more like the pounding of elephants charging through the jungle as they are chased by a pride of lions.  Each tap of each key of my computer laid the foundation for this unlikely terror.  When I listed my emergency contacts, it was the cement between the bricks.  By the time I typed in my credit card number, I was shaking.  I was also grinning, so don’t worry too much about me although…

I am filled with doubt.  Every twinge of a muscle reminds me that I am 47 years old.  Every ache seems it might be the start of something much worse.  I wonder how many runners will be there.  I wonder if the weather will be just so—cool, dry, filtered sunlight, precisely the way I like it.  Will all my winter training pay off?  Will all those miles logged in freezing rain and snow, in motion-stopping, icy ocean winds and bitter cold darkness give me the strength I need to finish strong?  Or will I have exhausted my middle-aged self, collapsing before I reach the finish line, straggling in like either a baby or an old woman, aching, sobbing, or, worse yet, picked up by EMTs and driven through an ogling crowd?

I know.  This does not sound like me at all.  I, mighty runner of many miles, woman who can finally do pull-ups and hold plank for more minutes than I’m willing to admit, crazy weight lifter and relentless personal trainer, am never in doubt of my abilities.  I jump into everything with both feet, never looking back (or ahead!).  I have only ever participated in one race, and it was just a 10K.  Piece of cake.  I experienced no pre-race jitters and ran the whole thing like it was any other day, except for the excitement of being surrounded by dozens of other runners.  I loved it!  I even came in first in my age category.  (Oops.  Is that a humble brag?  Nope. It’s a real one!)

Any other day, it’s one foot in front of the other.  That’s pretty much how I run.  Some days rock!  The legs, the lungs, the mind—they all meld into one and I go and go and go, surprised that an hour or two have passed and I’m already strolling through my front door.  I’m sweaty, happy and standing on top of the world.  On the not so good days, I still manage to run at least six miles, even if I’m slower than usual, a little winded on the sprints, or caught up in untangling a clingy worry.  So here I am, writing this, clearly with the sole purpose of giving myself a pep talk.  Here we go:

The race isn’t until May.  There’s plenty of time to rest, cut back on the miles, the weights, and even get in a little cross-training and rest.  Hmm.  I have time to work on speed drills, with or without my running partner, depending on her mood and availability.  I bet I can talk my hubby into coming to the high school track with the stop watch for a few mile repeats.  I can take one long run each week, even run the entire course a few times, just to let my body know what’s coming.  I can eat more, maybe gain a couple of pounds. Fries?  Cookies?  Coconut-milk ice cream?  (It’s not going to happen with leafy greens, that’s been proven…)  I can back off for a couple of weeks before the event, letting my body absorb the training and some extra rest, just to be sure.  Make the leap.  I know I can do it, and do it they way I envision it for me.

I have been writing fitness rules for more than a year, encouraging my readers and clients to adopt them into their fitness plans.   I want them to incorporate my fitness rules into their visions for how they can change their lives by making a few simple changes in attitude and behavior.   I think it’s time to write one for me.

Fitness Rule #18:  Take a leap of faith.  It’s the only way to uncover the truth of what I am capable of  in my life right now.

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Humble Brag

February 25, 2011

While watching NCIS: Los Angeles the other night, I heard a new phrase:  humble brag.  I immediately perked up.  Humble brag?  What is that?  The character has been complaining that although she was tired, sweaty and wore no make up, she still got hit on at the gym.  Later in the show, the term came up again when her partner mentioned that she complained that her size 2 jeans were baggy.  Hmmm.  Humble brag.  Do I do that?

It really made me stop and think.  Yes, I think I do.  It’s not a conscious thing, really; I want the people in my life to know how hard I work.  Or work out.  Or what a good cook I am. I don’t like to brag; it’s not a quality I admire.  But I may have mentioned a few times that although a certain recipe didn’t seem to come out as well as expected, everyone gobbled it up and there were no leftovers for my lunch the next day.  Boo-hoo.  And in a recent conversation with my mom:

“I could only run eight miles today.  It was just too cold to run any farther.”

I just want to make it clear that I run long distances on a regular basis but am a bit ashamed to actually come right out and brag for real.

This is starting to feel like a confession.  Growing up Catholic, confession was supposed to be a healthy thing.  I remember slipping into the dark little confessional box in our church, my face burning as I confessed my darkest sins, like teasing my sister, or dreaming about boys when I should have been doing my CCD (Catholic Cristian Doctrine) homework.  I eventually stopped going to confession, then to church altogether.  Yet, there is something to be said for unburdening myself of transgressions.  Is a humble brag a transgression?

I notice a lot of other people do the same thing— they want you to know how cool they are, or how popular, how thin, or how rich.  But the information is delivered in such a way that it seems like they are complaining or burdened by their good fortune or hard work, when in fact they are letting you know how awesome they are, or think they are.  Facebook seems to be the perfect place for this.  How many status reads have actually been humble brags?  It’s not necessary to be famous to spout a humble brag—even my mom does it occasionally, although it is very popular among the truly rich and famous.  There is even a Twitter Humble Brag site.  Is this catching on everywhere?  Have people been doing it for ages and it just finally received a proper name?  Or am I the one of the only people left who never knew?

I mentioned this topic to my friend Robin the Mermaid and she had never heard of it, either.  Today she called to tell me that, now familiar with the term, she heard someone toss out a humble brag at work.  She thought it seemed to make more sense to go for a real brag.  If you’re going to do it, you may as well go all the way.

Perhaps I’m giving this too much thought.  Or too much press?

Well, from my trainer’s point of view, maybe it’s good to go for the humble brag about fitness.  Why wouldn’t anyone want to show off how fit they are?  Fitness rule # 17 :  Earn a humble brag! (Or a real one!)