Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby Steps

Baby steps. I hate them. Have since birth, I think. My parents tell me I didn't even crawl -- just took off running one day. Maybe it has something to do with my perfectionism.

If I don't have the time to clean the room to my standards, I'd rather not even start. I know that it doesn't make sense, because then I end up in a real mess.... But I just don't like doing something half-way. It's all-or-nothing..... I think I see the same thing in my daughter. The thought of cleaning up her room overwhelms her... and I think she inherited it from me. We just hate the baby steps it takes to get there. If we're going to do it, we should do it perfectly... and, ummm... NOW. :) And if we can't... then... why bother? Which... brings me to a journal entry from seven years ago....
Seven years ago I wrote in my journal that walking along a gravel path had woken the desire to run.  Yeah.  Right.  It had been over 20 years since I ran cross-country.  I was significantly older, heavier, and more out of shape than I was in high school.  The only thing I could do now was walk.  I did walk that evening as I waited for my daughter's soccer practice to end.  I set out at a brisk enough pace and put enough work into it that after awhile I felt my muscles go into that stage where only the repetition and the consistent stride keep you going (break stride and you're a goner!).  It actually felt good.  But I wanted to RUN!  I wanted to take off with a ground-eating stride like the 16 year-old kid I once was, not the middle-aged overweight woman I'd become.  But I just didn't want to take those baby steps.  It was overwhelming.  It seemed impossible to get there from here.  I couldn't run... so... in the end... I didn't even walk.

So here I am seven years later.  In basically the same shape.  :(   I took kind of a nasty fall a few weeks ago (running through the garage of all things!).   The damage I did to myself has had me at my chiropractor's office fairly regularly since then.  We're getting there.  And he's been showing me new stretches to help.  Honestly, it's felt good to be doing something good for my body.  And as I've stretched those long-forgotten muscles, the thought has occurred that I want to keep this up -- I want to keep doing good for my body and getting in better shape.  A few days ago Dr. Hoffman added another stretch... a calf stretch.  And suddenly....  as I stretched... there it was again -- the desire to run.  But... just like last time... the voices in my head shout "Impossible! No way!  The most you could do is walk and that's just pitiful."  Sigh.  Baby steps.  I still hate them.  I want to be able to just jump in and go.  (side note:  and I want to be able to do it where no one is watching!  LOL!). 

So... I've been thinking about baby steps and beginnings a lot in the last few days....  And in my somewhat introspective mood I've wondered...  where else in my life is my need for perfectionism and my reluctance to do the "baby steps" causing me to stand still?  Several years ago I realized why I let housework pile up (don't have time to finish, so I won't start).  It took me quite awhile to figure that out, though.  And so now I really wonder where else I'm standing still that I don't even realize.  What other baby steps are holding me back?  And... if I manage to figure that out... just what do I do about it?  


1 comment:

  1. I told someone else a couple of weeks ago... (not anyone you know) figure out what exactly what you want to run to and begin... I think you'll find you are quite capable! And, yes, you're so did start out at a dead run... We always thought it was because you knew you could walk, but just wanted to wait until you had the space and the attention of both parents! So, Mr. Wiggs it was! We think you can do anything you set your mind to do!