Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Self-Love (Not That Kind)

How do you define your worth? By what measurement do you use to know how good or mediocre or bad you are? Do you determine it yourself, or leave it up to others? Is it quantifiable using dollar amounts? Age-group rankings? Finish line times?

I ask because I am trying to figure that out right now for myself. See, I have a history of being really hard on myself (no, seriously, I do). I am the type of person who usually lets other people tell my how good or bad I am, and sometimes they don't even have to tell me, I just make my own comparisons. Remember that meltdown a couple weeks back? I was convinced I wasn't good enough, that other people will be faster/stronger/smarter than me. Well of course they will, that's just the nature of life, but I admit that I let it overwhelm me sometimes.

Sometimes it words, other times it looks (or my interpretations of looks) that I believe mean something about how other people see me. Okay, so you might say, "but why do you care?" Because I do. I do. That's it. I try not to, I WANT to be the girl that walks around with cracked-out hair, plaid and polka dotted outfits, hairy legs, whatever. But at the core, I care so much that sometimes I can't even walked across my gym without thinking that everyone is staring at me (or my jelly legs, my big boobs, or my big forehead - take your pick). I had my first swim lesson with my new coach last week and I was convinced that he was saying to himself "What on earth is she trying to do in there? Get me a club so I can put this flailing seal out of her misery!" What he was really probably thinking was, "Okay, need to work on the balance, good front quadrant stroke, needs to rotate more."

Today, I let my boss determine my worth in the form of a Christmas bonus. Or lack thereof. I forget that, most of the time, he is really a self-absorbed, ethics-bending, money-grabbing jackass, and instead tend to think that I don't work hard enough, good enough, or bring in enough money. In my sane moments, I know that is not the case. But I can go there, and quick.

So let me get the point (it's here, trust me). After the rage of what I felt was this HUGE injustice to me, I began to think about what I can use to quantify my significance. It occurred to me that this Ironman thing is making me constantly confront these inner demons (for lack of a better word) because at the end of the day, the only person out there on the road is me. No coach, no training partner, no boss, no childhood that planted the seeds of my insecurities. It is me who determines what I what I am worth and what I am capable of. All the dollars in the world can't get me across the line (though they would help fund a new bike, but I digress). Just me, my mind, and my body. And that's worth something.

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