on being a greatist
As some/most/all of ya know, I work at Greatist, and we just launched a beautiful new site. Everyone on the team has worked incredibly hard to make this happen, and it’s safe to say we’re all thrilled with how it came out and even more excited for what’s to come!
A big part of the new site, and especially its social component, is to bring greatists together. A phrase we use a lot is that people don’t have to be the greatest and make healthy choices all the time, but simply be a greatist and make them some of the time.
Here’s a heart-warming video that sums it all up:
I’ve been thinking how this idea of being a greatist transfers over to marathon training. While I don’t consider myself a perfectionist (aka “the greatest”), I do get down on myself when I don’t accomplish things I “should.” I see “run x-miles” on the calendar and I have to do it — no questions asked. Even if I’m tired. Or it’s seven degrees out. Or it’s snowing. (Also…why is it snowing?!)
When I did the math, these past seven weeks of training (skipped one because of Costa Riiiica) have been near perfect. I’m only really resting one day a week, so that’s 42 days of working out. 42 days of long runs, and tempo runs, and warm ups, and lifting sessions, and planks on my apartment floor which remind me that a) I hate core work and b) I need to vacuum..again. And seven weeks in a row of all that? For me, that’s a lot.
Yet instead of being proud of what I’ve done so far, I’ve focused on the slip-ups. I don’t celebrate the fact that I’ve run a personal best in the half-marathon in a training run or that I’m running “comfortable” miles in paces way faster than I have before. I’m not proud that I’ve gone out every weekend for a long run, or have woken up way earlier than normal to get a strength training session in before work. Instead, I focus on the workout I missed, or the miles I’ve slowed down on, or the speed workouts I’ve had to cut short.
When the time came for me to head to the gym today, I was exhausted, and knew that taking an hour or so break would only mean feeling more stressed with my workload. And that’s when I re-watched the video above and remembered “being a greatist” applies to my running too. As I train for Eugene, I don’t have to be the greatest at it. I just need to be a greatist… and try to do my best. Even if that means taking some impromptu rest.
Because being a greatist is all about balance. It’s about pushing yourself, and then getting rest. It’s about working incredibly hard but knowing when you need to cut yourself some slack. It’s chasing after your dreams and recognizing all the hard work you’ve put in, regardless of the outcome.
And even when you’re knee-deep (neck-deep?) in a company that promotes making healthier choices one small step at a time, we all still struggle to find a correct balance that leads to our healthiest and happiest life. But that doesn’t mean we give up. And having that motivation and support right there in the office is so special. It wasn’t until a co-worker told me I was better off taking a rest day did I get the reassurance I needed. Or until another one handed me a ziplock of oreos to take home that I knew I would enjoy them. OR until a mariachi band came to our office that I remembered lightening up and having fun is just as important as being serious and driven.
Plus…it’s one skipped workout. Life, as I’m learning, is going on. And quite well at that.