After my workout this morning, I was cooling down on a bike. An older woman came up to me and said, “Great job on that run!“
“Thanks. Running isn’t yet a strength but I’m working on it.“
We chatted a little about how she doesn’t run due to her bad knees and at some point she said, referring to the running portion of the workout I had just finished,
“I know how hard it can be. You’re so slow…”
I kind of smiled, wondering if she realized that she just told me I was not only slow but “so slow“.
Wait. Was that an insult? An observation? Both? A compliment?
Here’s why I’m telling you this:
- It wasn’t an insult
- My perspective on what she said determines how I feel about it
- I can be hurt by what she said, I can be helped by what she said or it can have no impact at all. It’s up to me.
At some point in the not-too-distant past, I’d have been hurt by that. I’d have immediately decided that this woman is a rude bitch. I would have been indignant: you don’t know where I started! Mind your own damn business! OMG does everyone think I’m “so slow”? I don’t belong here… How embarrassing.
I would have thought about the comment all day and probably for a couple of days and each time it would sting and trigger feelings of judgement and inadequacy.
And, that type of emotional cascade would happen EVERY TIME someone said something to which I could find a way to take offense.
Basically, I wasn’t emotionally stable. Someone’s glance, comment or lack of a friendly smile could send me into a self-conscious tailspin.
I want to share with you how I processed it today.
First, there was definitely a moment of, “Does she realize she just told me I’m so slow?”
But there was also this:
- She was complimenting me, not criticizing. She noticed how hard I worked through a challenging workout & she was being empathetic.
- Relative to the athletes at this gym, I AM slow. That’s also why I came here. To be challenged & get better. So, she’s 100% right
- I am faster than I was 3 years ago and also faster than I was 3 months ago
- Showing up & doing this workout today helps me get even faster
- Every time someone says something that I COULD allow to ruffle my feathers but I choose not to, I get better and stronger. She gave me that gift of practice
Whether it’s someone commenting on your weight, your speed, your food choices, your outfit or anything in between, YOU are in control of how you take it & how you react to it.
This isn’t always easy. We need lots of practice. Every time it happens is a chance to practice.
Oftentimes, my clients are rubbed the wrong way by feedback I give them. That’s their choice and it doesn’t have to do with me.
It’s not what I say, it’s what they think about what I say.
They have a choice. They can see the criticism in it, or they can see the opportunity in it.
What’s true about the statement, if anything? How can you use it to make you better?
At a bare minimum, feedback, insults, criticisms or observations give us a chance to practice NOT becoming attached to & dramatic about someone else’s words or actions.
At most, there’s some truth in it that we can learn & grow from.
If it bothers you, it’s because of what YOU make of it, not because of what was said.
It’s not someone’s comments that upset us, it’s our thoughts about their comments.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s powerful. Incredibly powerful, actually.
Here’s that workout my new gym-friend commented on:
“The Running Dead”
16 Deadlifts (225/155)
I was really proud that I went unbroken on all 3 sets of deadlifts and stayed really consistent with both my run & jump rope.
On the food front:
Started the day with butter coffee from Picnik. I wasn’t hungry after my workout – I think I was too tired to be hungry!
Around 11am I had a cobb salad with added cabbage and a whole lot of water.
I was craving a shake today so I blended up a concoction of coconut cream, almond milk, frozen cauliflower, a zevia energy drink & cacao powder. It was pretty darn good! I used the cola flavor that I don’t enjoy as much but it worked really well here, adding flavor & a touch of sweetness.
Dinner was paleo power meals: steak frites (sweet potato fries).
Gotta eat foods you love that love you back! No sacrifice here!
Love you guys! Make it a great day!