I want it all, or nothing at all

I am a very all or nothing person.

Sometimes, this is a good thing. When I care about something, I go all in. I am a passionate perfectionist. Shit gets done.

But when I don’t care – or care only a little bit – it’s in peril. It won’t happen.

If I am doing a fitness challenge, you don’t have to worry. Until I miss a day. Then I am a failure and there’s no point in completing the challenge. No point in anything.

If I am restricting my diet, I follow the rules, make the meals. No problem. Until someone brings cookies to work. Then I’ll eat one and my diet is over. I failed. I might as well eat 10. And eat a cookie again tomorrow.

This is a cycle I am trying to break. One cookie doesn’t ruin a well-intentioned meal plan. Missing one workout doesn’t mean my entire training plan is ruined. A health life is about sustainability and balance – at what level can you be your best self without compromising other things you care about, and can maintain for a very long time?

I’ve been an active person since I was a child and this is still a struggle. It’ll be a struggle for the rest of my life.

I think I’m getting there. I need to constantly remind myself it’s a journey. I can take a step back for a minute or a day and it doesn’t mean I need to get off the train. Every day, I need to ask myself “What is the best way to take care of me today?” Every day, the answer is different.

That doesn’t make me a failure. It makes me human.

6 things I learned from my 6 marathons

Marathon #5. 

In my first marathon, I learned about strength. I was stronger than I thought I was. I felt like death the last 10k, I wanted to quit. I wanted to die. But I finished. And there’s no feeling like finishing your first marathon.

In my second marathon, I learned about humility. It doesn’t get easier. You get tougher, but you need to put in the work. My second marathon was terrible and painful and I questioned why I was doing this again. It seemed so stupid. But I finished and I’m proud that I powered through.

In my third marathon, I learned to believe in magic. Marathons are magical. There’s nothing like thousands of strangers coming together to complete a hard thing – and thousands more cheering them on. This race is still one of the greatest days of my life.

In my fourth marathon, I learned about community. Marathons are better when you run with a friend. I ran the first half of the race with my sister and having her by my side made this race so much more than it would have been had I done it alone.

In my fifth marathon, I learned about acceptance. You can’t go back, only forward. You can’t re-create, only accept new moments. I ran NYC for the second time and wanted o badly to have the same life-changing day I had when I ran NYC the first time. I didn’t. I was originally disappointed by that. But I’ve accepted it and have come to appreciate this race for what it was and how far I’ve come in my running.

In my sixth marathon, I learned that fun is more important than fast. Together is better than alone. And there aren’t a lot of options to wear a tutu and fairy wings as an adult – so take the ones you get. This was my slowest marathon by almost two hours, but I had a smile on my face the entire time. I loved every step. I need to find that feeling in every run. In every day.