Quit Complaining! It’s Your Choice

Would you like some cheese with your whine?  It’s so easy to whine and complain.  Sometimes it seems like there’s more inspiration behind the act of complaining than in the act of being positive.  The groans can roll off your tongue so quickly. While complaining can make you feel better, for the short-term, it also brings on a wave of negativity to you and those you are complaining and commiserating with.

I could easily allow myself to whine and complain throughout my runs and workouts.  This past week of marathon training was tough, with high temperatures and relentless humidity.  I tipped in with a total weekly mileage of 35 (my max to date) that included Hill Repeats.  I am also very busy at work where there’s never any downtime thanks to the Blackberry which means I am constantly carving out pockets of precious time to spend with my 7-year-old twin girls.  How easy it would be to say I don’t have enough time or I’m too tired or it’s just too hard.

Nah. I don’t choose that option.  I choose to limit my grumblings if not avoid it altogether.   Doing so makes me feel better and stronger.  I have enough challenges to conquer with marathon training and work/life balance as a full-time working mom, that I see no value in adding ‘complaining’ as a means  of motivation and inspiration.

I have a habit of immediately looking for a solution whenever I’m confronted with a problem.  If I want to run the marathon, I need to train.  That means, even when it’s hot, humid, raining or whether I feel tired, bloated, achy… I need to get out and train.  It’s very hard work.  I might as well embrace the challenge of new behavior rather than blanket it with a negativity of complaints that will only slow me down.

Here is how I felt running last week in the high humidity and heat:  soaking wet through my socks, my eyes stinging from a non-stop waterfall of sweat down my forehead, a scratchy throat from the occasional gnat that flew into my mouth and when I paused for a sip of water my body was so burning hot that steam was rising off my arms.  That is how I felt.  What I kept thinking is that all these difficult sensations that I had to learn to run with are merely part of the training process.  I was reminded of this awesome quote: “Don’t Be Upset By The Results You Didn’t Get With The Work You Didn’t Do”.  I decided to grab the challenge, store it in my (sweaty) pocket and plan to bring it out at the marathon.

When I feel my mind wanting to drift into the Land of Excuses, sabotaging my will-power to keep going, to keep pushing, I remind myself of that phrase.  I will not put myself in a state of denial about my true actions.  I do not plan on running the NYC Marathon wondering if I trained enough.  I want to wake up that morning feeling 100% prepared physically and mentally to get up and just run all 26. 2 miles. No regrets.  I don’t believe you can lie, cheat or trick your body into running a marathon. Anything I DIDN’T do in training will reveal itself at some point over 26.2 miles.    I want to avoid or at least limit that kind of result from happening so that indeed I will be smiling across the finish line!

Pushing thru a heat wave at the NYRR Queens 10k in Flushing Meadow – July 2012




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11 responses to “Quit Complaining! It’s Your Choice

  1. My Marathon training group sends out weekly emails, and a couple weeks ago – this was our inspirational message. It echoes in my mind all the time now, I just love it:

    “Focus on all the positive things.
    My life largely revolves around creating opportunities to run hard. Running hard is one of my most treasured experiences in life… so let’s not wish it over with while we’re actually here experiencing it.”
    -Matt Fitzgerald

    When you are out on your long run or struggling up a hill, remember the time and sleep and money and whatever else you sacrifice to be right where you are. You have created the opportunity for yourself for a reason, don’t wish it over with while you’re in it. Instead, use the mantra above. Try to enjoy the toughness as much as the fun of the experience of running.

    The second part was written by our coaches – and it’s so true!

    Keep up the positive thinking and hard training, the juggling of work/life balance and everything in between! Happy Running!

  2. THANK YOU for sharing that mantra! It affirms what I’m trying to express in the blog even more. How beautiful and that’s exactly the point: THIS IS WHERE I WANNA BE. 🙂

  3. Nicole

    All I can say is you always ROCK. You don’t have a negative bone in your entire body. When you cross that finish line you deserve 2 medals one for your finish and one for being a great inspiration to your running mates.

  4. carolann aquili

    A very inspiring story. You rock. Your message is so clear and honest I could feel the sweat and your accomplishment I love reading your thoughts. So proud of you. Xoxoxo

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  6. Oh, goodness! You give no mercy! I do believe there’s a place where we can stand in our minds in each situation. The situation won’t change. Only where we stand does. Whine or Grind I guess. Right now, I feel I’m in the Whine place and can’t find my way to the Grind place. Maybe that can be my mantra. To Whine or To Grind and feel I have a choice. Cheers for your strength and will to be in the Grind! That I can start adding some to mine own.

  7. Ivana

    I have been struggling to stick to my running schedule.. etc thats ok I will do it tomorrow and I then never get around to it, I just stumbled onto this page, and wow you are awesome, thank you for your positive thoughts and good vibes, if in fact, I just printed off that mantra and I have stuck it on the wall next to my bed so I can read it every morning and it will get me out of bed to run! Good luck with the marathon!

  8. Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be FREE to download on Sept. 10 – 11! Check it out on my Amazon Kindle page.. You won’t be disappointed. And if you can slip me a review, I’d be forever grateful…

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