Today is day #63 of no alcohol.

If you are interested in why I’m on a break, I wrote a post for Women’s Running Magazine about why I decided to do #dryjanuary and why I’m sticking with it for a bit. You can find that HERE {the days are” off” if you are an internet sleuth – I wrote the article before it was published ;)}

If you like podcasts I also chatted with the ladies from Another Mother Runner a bit about why I decided to go alcohol free – you can find the link to their podcast HERE

Wednesday is the first day of March.

On my {indoor} bike ride this today I was thinking about how good two months alcohol free has felt. I thought about what I wanted to change in the month of March in order to keep the cycle of feeling good moving forward. At first I debated adding things, like 10 push-ups per day, 10 minutes of core work, more journaling – but it occurred to me, as those thoughts ran through my head, that I’m currently better at taking away things than I am at adding things.

Here me out…..

When I used to take away things from my life in an effort to “clean” things up or feel better I would take away too much at once. An example of this is Whole30. I would spend the entire month of Whole30 thinking about what I was going to eat or do when my month was up. While some of the “rules” did help me make some life changes, the idea as a whole of eating paleo didn’t stick because it wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle for me. On the flip side when I would try to add things I was successful for short periods of time but would end up falling short because the “time” in the day would run out and I would be left scrambling, knowing there was no way I was going to fit in what I told myself I had to do that day. Instead of just skipping a day and starting back, I’d feel like a failure and give it up completely.

Ditching alcohol didn’t require me to do anything, it required me to stop something, meaning that I never ran out of time in a day. On some occasions I was actually happy a day was ending so that I made it through another day without giving in to the pressure. Even though it was and is a restriction of sorts, it was only ONE thing. I made one change and worked to make sure that change lasted for 30 days. When I hit 30 days, I thought let’s try for 40. When I hit 40 I thought, let’s try for a month. I started before the new year started so here I am two months in to this change, feeling better than ever. I feel confident that if I want to keep going, I can – for as long as I want. I’ve survived and thrived, in countless social situations, where I would have caved in the past.

So this month instead of adding anything, I’m going to subtract something. One something. Not ten somethings, one something, and I’m going to try to do it for 30 days.

Boston Marathon is less than 50 days away. That’s less days than I have not drank for, which some how that makes the race feel forever away, yet just around the bend.

This year I’m running on the Hyland’s team – I shared about that HERE. Each week they present us with questions or challenges, shall we say, that they want us as a team to answer/participate in. I’ll admit I’m completely over thinking most of them. I like the introspection they are causing me to do, so I’m not going to complain about the extra thoughts swirling in my head.

They asked us to come up with a power word and write it on a body part. The only word that kept coming to mind was WIN. My definition of the word has changed over the years. What it means to win, no longer means first place or trying to be the best compared to others, it means being the best me. That is my way of winning at life.

It also has a another meaning that I wrote about in 2011, after reading an article on Mike Broderick, after he passed away. You can read the whole post HERE. One of Mike’s timeless lessons in life was this….

1. WRITE WIN ON YOUR HAND IN PERMANENT MARKER.

WIN stands for “What do I Need?” and it means “What do I need right now to help get me though this workout or race.” Do I need to hydrate or take in extra nutrition? Do I need to slow down, or walk for a bit to get my heart rate down? Do I need to focus or replace negative thoughts with positive ones? This will help you focus on the moment instead of what is to come – you are in control of your race or workout.
Not drinking for a bit is my WIN. It’s What I Needed to do right now. Will I always be sober, probably not, but this personal experiment has changed the way I look at alcohol and has also given me a huge amount of self-confidence in the process. Which is literally a WIN.
Boston Marathon Thoughts via @mileposts
The next challenge they asked us to do was to write a few words on a note card or piece of paper and carry it around for a few days. I thought about what I would write but kept looking at the notecard that I’ve carried around in my wallet since before I ran the Great Wall of China Marathon. When I found out I was running that race I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t sure that I could even get myself in shape enough to climb the amount of steps that I was going to have to climb while moving for 26.2 miles. I wrote the amount of steps on a note card – 5,164 – and added a Bible verse below it. It is a meaningful Bible verse to me that I often relate to running. It also happens to have the same numbers that match my birthday 4/11 – Proverbs 4:11. When I was climbing those steps in China I repeated this verse to myself. To date, that race was hands down one of the best most transformative races I have ever participated in. I not only climbed those steps but I pushed through mental barriers that I didn’t think I could overcome.

Proverbs 4:11

I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.

Boston Marathon Thoughts via @mileposts

If you had to participate in these challenges what word would you write on your body?

Note: All posts that mention Hyland’s are part a sponsored series of posts. #hylandspowered #sponsored #bostonmarathon

 

Comments

  1. maraardelean says:

    Your running experiences truly inspire me to stick to my running routine. Gaining and maintaining an ideal weight is one of my goals for this spring. I run with SportMe runner app which calculates distance, pace, time and calories and adjusts running plans to my progress.

  2. A while back you posted a list of bible verses, one for each mile of a marathon – I have it printed and pinned to the bulletin board next to my desk, and every few months, I pick a new verse to focus on and memorize while I run – I love it – and love your word and the card you carry around!

  3. Amber Finlay says:

    I LOVE this post for two reasons:
    1) The aspect of taking one thing away. As I try to make improvements in my life and habits, I was always adding things in too, then feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time I needed total to complete ALL THE THINGS. Taking one thing away sounds so much simpler (& therefore more likely that I can stick with it) :)
    2) What I Need Now. Again with the theme of overwhelming myself, I tend to drown myself with thoughts of “how am I ever going to get through xyz”, “I can’t do it all” etc. But What I Need Now is a great reminder to focus on the step I’m in!

  4. Thanks for this inspiring message! Keep up the good work!

  5. Amazing message. It really feels motivated to me.

  6. I discovered your blog after listening to the AMR podcast you mentioned above. That episode really hit home to me and inspired me to make similar changes in my life. Your post above is another one of those and as today marks the start of Lent (for those who observe, like myself) am recommitting myself to choosing actions that will get my closer to my goals and being the best version of myself. Thank you.

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