I’ve noticed something lately about myself, and others, that I am not able to tolerate very well: Bullshit. It’s a hard one to explain, especially because I was such a good bullshit artist in the past. To be clear, I am calling out myself here, no one else.
The biggest shift within this change has to do with myself, and the things I’ve told myself, to feel wounded, broken, un-likable, fat, slow, and that I suck. I’ve recently started keeping closer track of the things my mind tells me about myself. It’s a constant battle, one that I am willing to keep fighting. Perhaps it is because I still live in the past on occasions, I’m willing to admit that it’s all about progress, not perfection.
I’m currently in Northern California for a 4 day training camp on the epic and historic trails of the Western States 100 course. Over the past year, since the last time I was here, I’ve coped with some mega battles within my head, having to do with the negative thoughts about how I look, how I feel, and the point as to why I put all of these miles in my legs every single day. This time I feel that being mindful and present is allowing me to let go of all of those incessant and repetitive remarks, from my peers and my own head, to just simply go outside and run and enjoy every single step. Also this year, the self sabotaging criticism is largely gone. I have let go of those self-proclaimed made up notions. I guess I just don’t care about what others think (not that they did in the first place). One phrase I’ve heard in recovery is: “it’s none of my business what other people think of me.” I absolutely agree with this. At the end of the day I know that I’m the one that has to live with myself. I guess I’m lucky to not be in a relationship at the moment just so that I can try to attain the best grasp possible of what’s it’s like to face yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the tough questions like, Who am I? As long as I go to bed each night feeling OK with just being me, then I know it’s been a good day.
I learned to bullshit with myself, and others, when I learned to drink at St. Lawrence University. Being thrust into a role of being an extrovert, on my own accord, I felt that I had to play the image of not having any weaknesses. I was president of my fraternity, had a ton of friends, and basically kicked ass at life, or so I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret all of the fun I had in college, and if I had another chance I’d probably do it again, exactly the same way (maybe I need to let that go as well). The problem was that I put pressure on myself to be that person after school, carrying many habits into the next step of my life…my 20’s.
During my 20’s and early 30’s I became a master of bullshitting myself. It came out in different ways. Not everything that happened during those years was “bullshit” especially when it came to my friends and family. Luckily I was able to maintain many, if not all of the relationships, that I forged over those years. Most of the bullshit came from with-in. I used to lie to myself about what made me happy, about what I wanted out of life, and most of the time I would try to rectify the situation by simply drinking, to curb the inner bullshit. I suppose it worked for a while, until my drinking career caught up to me and simply became unmanageable. I’m grateful today that I don’t have to worry about that aspect of life.
With many of the folks that I help out with athletics, life, sobriety, and beyond, I have developed relationships with each of these folks that is not based around bullshit. I hold myself to a high standard because I know, from experience, that bullshit can lead me down a rocky road. I hope to instill that notion in others, to teach them that life can be pretty damn good if you’re just honest with yourself. For me, today, it’s all about honesty. No bullshit. I want the facts, and if they’re inner battles to fight, let’s fight them together. But know that the goal of working together will ultimately to be able for you to look in mirror and know that today, you were honest with yourself.
Enough out of me today…there’s a sick Markus Schulz set playing, my legs are up to recover, and I’m about to get on my bike for a recovery spin to get ready for tomorrows 22 miler to finish our camp. Life is good. Tonight, I plan on going to bed with a smile, because I’ve been 100% honest with myself all freakin day.