The Local Three, Six, Five: Kate’s Down to Earth Running Community:GRATEFUL IN THE MIDST OF SABOTAGE
By Guest Blogger: Kate Baron - (written by a past sabotager – personal experience is the BEST teacher)
You’re on track. You’re gaining speed. Your pants are getting larger and so are your quads. Blue skies all around – except for the folks who never have anything positive to say about your fitness.
In fact, at times they even try to derail you. WHY?! As athletes we ask a lot of the community around us for support. Sometimes our accomplishments can make others uncomfortable with themselves. Below, find the low-down on showing gratitude for the support we get and why people might try to sabotage your fitness.
Support is important for our fitness regimes. Sometimes support comes in different forms and might be pretty well masked– we need to make sure not to miss these supporters! Remember, it’s US (the athletes) who are wanting the change in our lives, not the people who are supporting us! So keep that in mind as we go along here. This is about OUR actions.
Attract support by:
- Respecting Others Time – if you need to borrow time from something, or someone, to fit your workout in, don’t overuse it and sneak in a trip to the market, or run an extra three miles even though you told the neighbor you’d be back in an hour, etc…
- Avoid Talking TOO Much – being excited about our fitness goals, training plans, new achievements, and so on, can be inspirational to the right crowd. However, not every person wants to hear about our personal triumphs or glory guts! (I know…seems odd, eh?!) Needless to say, choose your audience wisely and remember we want our passion to be contagious – not lethal. By all means share your achievements! When you share though, be mindful of how interested the other person is and let them respond – and remember to LISTEN! (this is where I find I personally struggle to MOST!)
- Be Grateful – When you receive help with anything or something is given to you (time, or tangible!), be grateful. This includes children, spouses, friends, pets, etc. Be grateful that they help you achieve this time alone in your life for health and wellness.
- Return The Favor – this applies to all areas of life, for any reason. Pay it back – even better, pay it forward.
It’s a sad fact that even when you’re exuding respect and gratitude for people in your life, it doesn’t always work in your favor. Sometimes people can only see themselves – which is unfortunate, especially when it’s someone you really care about. (spouse, sibling, best friend, etc).
Sometimes these very people can make it difficult for you to find time to work out, or make you feel guilty for taking the time to do so. The comments made might sound similar to “Why do you need to exercise?” or “You exercise too much – you’re addicted!” leaving you questioning your priorities. Sometimes it’s a more passive aggressive approach that they bring to the table – postings on Facebook bringing food they know you won’t eat to a gathering, etc. When I first encountered these types of people I was hurt. But with a little understanding of where they might be coming from I was able to let go and stay focused on my journey – after all it’s about me (you) and not them!
- They’re Jealous – There you are, sweating off the weight, competing in races and checking off new goals. Your new physical strength exudes in your every move, down to the smile on your face and the twinkle in your eye. It’s so evident that you don’t even have to tell anyone how great you feel – IT’S OBVIOUS! Perhaps this jealous crowd sees it and can’t be happy for you because they don’t have (but want!) both your look and your feel. Nobody wants to own up to jealousy – more often it comes out as anger, snide remarks, or hurtful actions. Nobody wants to admit that they aren’t taking care of themselves…as they watch someone else successfully do it. Perhaps they are simply jealous of the new like-minded relationships you are now fostering while you enjoy your active lifestyle.
- Fear - You have a new passion! The people close to you may genuinely feel that they have “lost” you to this new love. This can be intensified by a metamorphosis of the body – if you have a new svelte shape, people around you may feel as though they have lost the “old you” and don’t know or relate to the “new you”.
- Selfishness – It is a possibility that people might not want you to have what you have…AND they also do not want it for themselves! Do they feel you are choosing working out over them? Do your co-workers feel bad about what they are eating and instead of supporting you, try to entice you with doughnuts or fat-laden lunches? Have you heard, “You’re getting too skinny” – when what they mean is “I’m uncomfortable with my weight and I want you to join me!” They miss being able to relate to you at their comfort level – and they are so comfortable there…that they can’t move!
HOW TO HANDLE
It’s easy to let the defenses go up when someone makes negative comments about positive changes we make it our lives. Conversations can be hurtful and even end up in arguments. It’s important to have this at the forefront of our minds as we encounter different situations in life – if the relationship is meaningful to you, then responding back, “You’re just jealous!” is not likely going to serve you well.
Instead, try to look at the situation from their point of view and figure out what their real point of discontent is. Most of us can relate to being in their shoes…we ALL began somewhere.
So be grateful. Be sympathetic. And NEVER stop being STRONG, CONFIDENT, HEALTHY and HAPPY.