Fourteen miles is a lot of time to think about things: how much this Pandora station is absolutely killing it today, what bills I need to pay, if the zombie apocalypse is here (mental note: avoid all bath salts, sorry Bed, Bath and Beyond), what my friends in Richmond and Pennsylvania are up to and if they're somehow managing without me (I kid, I kid), and you get some realizations as well. Then it hit me:
I may be a lot of things, perfect is not one of them (not that I thought that I was before, mind you).
Good news: no one is.
I may be a little too nerdy, a little too socially awkward. I might enjoy a pizza to myself on a more than regular occasion and be completely lost in any political discussion that doesn't involve "Game of Thrones." My xbox might see me a little too much, and my couch even more. (I might use parenthesis more than I should) and I might not have a 6-pack and a 30" waist. I might be too trusting...okay, gullible...a little too optimistic, and even a little too smiley (trust me, at VMI, you can be too smiley). My dream for my future might be a little too white-picket-fency, complete with a husband, 3 kids and a dog - black lab, rescue of course. On that note: I might be a little too cheesy.
But you know what? I'm happy.
I've been working to a better body - to cut fat or gain muscle, to be able to run further and faster, to lift heavier and be a better athlete - for the past 8 years. I might have slipped and fallen, but I dusted myself off and kept on going, and on my run today - it hit me - I'm happy with myself. Eight years - 80lbs lost, and every time I looked in the mirror, I always saw imperfection and strove to "fix" it. As I hit mile 13 fifteen minutes ahead of when I finished at 13 two weeks ago, it really hit me: it's not the strive to obtaining perfection and getting it that will make me happy, it's the drive to be a better person, whether athletically, intellectually, or even nerdily (I also may make up too many words) - to help others in my community, no matter how small or large the task might seem - that has and will make me happy.
There's a certain weight (*nudge nudge* get it? it's a fitness blog! See cheesy comment above, repeat cheesy comment above) that's lifted off your shoulders when you make this realization. A certain freedom that comes with it, to know that you're no longer doing this because of social pressure or to fit in, but to truly do it for yourself that's, well, freeing. My question to you is: are you doing what you're doing because it's what's expected of you - from your friends, from your family, from your community or religion - because of some media driven standard that is set - or are you doing it truly because it's what makes you happy? Take a little bit of time on your commute to work, while you're biking or pavement pounding, just when you can let your mind wander (ok, meetings at work - probably not the best place) and ask yourself that and really think about it.
Now if y'all will excuse me, my couch and my xbox are calling. Told ya I was nerdy.