Celebrate Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of life. Always on the go, with that next thing we need to cross off our list on the mind. Some days are more successful and others feel overwhelming, trying to figure out just how we’re possibly going to get through them. We compare with others, convinced that everyone else is doing better. We focus on the negative and wonder why we keep falling short of our goals.

That’s when we need to pause, breathe and take some time to look more realistically at what we have actually achieved. It’s important to take that step back and celebrate our successes.

As a competitive athlete, my mind is always focused on the next thing I can do to improve my performance. How can gain that edge that will bring me to the next level? What can I work on? Because of that mindset, sometimes, I forgot to celebrate my achievements. As I reach goals that I had set for myself, suddenly a bigger goal takes its place and the previous goals simply become stepping stones towards reaching the new one. While it’s good to stay motivated and strive for the best version of us that we can be, it can also be self-defeating to always be looking ahead and how far we still have to go to reach that “ultimate” goal that may never come.

While enjoying my end of season break this week, I’ve had time to reflect on this past running season. I took the time to write down a list of this year’s accomplishment. Funny enough, the result surprised me. The season may have started with a frustrating IT band injury, and was scaled back in terms of training due to my move to Vancouver in July, but I still ended up with a great year. I got new personal bests at every distance I raced (5k, 8k, 10k and half marathon) and placed well, even in more competitive races. I was so focused on my last two races in which I was hoping to reach a new personal best and didn’t, that I failed to see the overall picture. Because I’ve now chosen to celebrate these successes before moving on to the next ones, I share the list with you.

– 1st female, Vancouver Historic 5k, 2017
– 1st in age group, Vancouver Fall Classic 5k, 2017
– 4th in age group, Victoria Half Marathon, 2017 (PB: 1:29:58)
– 1st in age group, Vancouver Eastside 10k, 2017 (PB: 41:48)
– 1st female, Vancouver Pride Run 5k, 2017 (PB: 19:58)
– 2nd female, Perth Kilt Run 8k, 2017 (PB)
– 7th in age group, Ottawa Half Marathon, 2017 (PB)

We are often told to be modest and not “show off” what we do right. So we minimize what we do, but in doing so, we do ourselves (and others) a disservice. So I invite you to do the same, not just with running, you can also list everything you are doing right in any area of your life. Then celebrate those successes whatever they may be, share them with others, reach out and give yourself that pat on the back because you deserve it!! The more we allow ourselves to celebrate our successes, the more it’ll inspire and allow others to do the same.

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