Last Sunday on “The Break”, Michelle wolf talked about mental health, the false happiness that we portray for the world particularly on social media, and the fact that it’s ok to admit when you feel a little bad (cause space goes on for INFINITY). She encouraged people to share this through a hashtag #ifeelalittlebad.
Michelle happens to be a runner, and has completed a 50 miler. And as with many things in life I see parallels of this in running. We share the finish or podium pictures, and I'm sure many runners have had friends look at the result of their hard work and say “I wish I could look like you” or “I wish I was as fast as you”. But sometimes we lose the message that while we may love running, there are also times when we feel a little bad.
There are the days when we don't really want to get up at 4am, when we have to sacrifice time with family and friends to achieve training goals. Sometimes runs are effortless and fun, but sometimes they are miserable and lonely. I would venture a guess that even elites have days when workouts or races don't go as planned and self doubt creeps in. We may smile at the aid stations and cameras, but races are tough. There is pain and misery and mental exhaustion. Trips with scraped knees, bloody and lost toenails, and sometimes the achievement of a race goal means hobbling around for days afterwards and fighting through post-race exhaustion at work. At times even with all of the sacrifice, pain and struggle you miss your goal and need to deal with that disappointment as well.
I believe that all the rough patches, in running and in life, help the good parts shine all that much more brightl, but sometimes that is hard to remember when you’re struggling. I also believe that we need to share our struggles with others as much as we share our triumphs, because you never know who we might inspire to push through their own dark moments to achieve something great.