Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paradigm Shift

I've talked a little bit before about The Leader In Me and the Seven Habits at my school. This past Tuesday, we had a teacher workshop that revisited the first three habits and paradigms.

Paradigms are how we see and interpret the world. What we see affects our actions. What we do directly influences what we get.
In life, we should work toward having paradigm shifts, where our point of view is altered and thus, so is our reality. We see the world as it really is; our blinders, preconceived notions, and assumptions fall away.
This classic optical illusion is a good example of a paradigm shift. Whether you see the old woman or young woman first, once you see the other, you can't possibly look at the image the same way again. Your view has been altered.
As we were doing some personal reflection Tuesday, I had a paradigm shift.

I was ruminating on my post about Matt's race, and the insight I had about Matt's reaction to finishing 32 miles compared to my reaction to finishing 26.2.
Matt's look of determination and grit...
...my look of pure disbelief and joy.
I wrote that maybe Matt's apparent lack of awe at his accomplishment was due to his total confidence in himself as an athlete, whereas my total amazement with myself was a result of my constant doubt.

Despite all I've accomplished, I still see myself as a weak runner. This is my paradigm, even though I hadn't really realized I believed it until Tuesday.

I didn't always feel this way. In 2012-2013, I was PR'ing like crazy and I knew I was awesome. When and how did this negative paradigm take over? Why did I let it?

The paradigm shift I experienced Tuesday seems so obvious, and it's probably something I've thought of before but never with such clarity: I can be a great athlete if I really put the effort into it, because despite all I say and do, I haven't actually put my full effort into training in over two years. 

Here's the other part of the paradigm shift: I began allowing myself to slack off and make excuses for the sake of enjoying running again after too much overtraining, but now I'm tired of the lack of drive. My "take it easy" mentality has turned into self-doubt, because I haven't been pushing myself enough. So this paradigm is a cage of my own making.

Anyway, turning these thoughts over in my head has helped me come to a decision about next year. I won't be running a marathon in 2016. I'm going to go back to 5k and 10k races, with the occasional half thrown in. And I'm tired of letting myself coast. I want to focus on making improvements where they really count for the long haul.

Rather than running long, I want to refocus on running fast.

(I'm still really excited about my marathon this year! Don't get me wrong. But I'm definitely ready to step back into shorter distances and focus on fundamentals once BDR is in the bag.)

If I fail, I fail. But I think it will feel good to challenge myself in a new way and to truly work toward creating a new paradigm.

Have you ever experienced a paradigm shift?

ABK

13 comments:

  1. I think making improvements in the shorter distances will definitely help you when you decide to run another marathon. Isn't it crazy how as runners we doubt ourselves all of the time? Do you think it's a gender thing too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely nice to know that I'm not the only one who still doubts herself after all this time, but it's also disheartening that it happens so often!

      I hadn't considered if it's a gender thing. You may be onto something!

      Delete
  2. I experienced a paradigm shift this year in the opposite direction. I was at a point where all I could think about was the next race, and the next PR, and getting faster. Improve, improve, improve. But then I realized that life isn't like that. Progress isn't linear. They just can't all be PRs. Sometimes you have to let yourself plateau a bit, take a break and take the pressure off, or you risk serious burn out. Honestly I'm glad I took this break from hard training before my body forced me too. Now I'm really excited to work my butt off in my upcoming marathon training cycle and if I hadn't taken this break, that excitement wouldn't be possible. In fact, who knows if I'd be able to run another marathon at all. This break hasn't always been fun or easy but it's really helped me recharge and rejuvenate my enthusiasm for running.

    I'm excited to hear about your shorter distance training! I can't wait to see the improvements you make and the butt you kick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you took some time off too. I've found breaks really help me get back into it after I'm feeling worn down.

      Delete
  3. Oh, absolutely. I had one this summer when I realized that I needed to think of myself as a writer first, and a runner second. I'm still living into that, but it definitely changes how I structure my days and weeks, and how I think about my efforts in either. And I know it's the correct decision because since then I've enjoyed both more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I struggle with deciding which aspect of my personality to make my priority. I don't write as much as I used to, or as much as I'd like to, but it's because teaching and running take up so much time. I'm glad you're enjoying the changes your decision has brought.

      Delete
  4. I've been struggling to make a shift myself. I still think of myself as a slow and struggling runner, and I think it negatively impacts my goal-setting, because I don't push myself enough. I realized the other week, when one of my teammates told me she was inspired by how fast I am that I need to reconsider how I see myself as a runner. I mean, I'm hoping to post a BQ time in 2016, and I think that is an obtainable goal - I can't be that slow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely don't see you as slow. It's kind of like when running groups say "all paces welcome, slow runners can join!" but they mean 9mm is slow, and I mean 11:30 is slow. I know slow is relative...But even with relativity, you don't fall into the category! As you said, anyone aiming for a BQ can't be slow!

      Delete
  5. I believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to. I remember when I first said I was signing up for Tough Mudder, I had so many doubters. So many people told me, "you won't finish" or "you'll quit." I did want to at one point, but never in my mind did I let myself believe I couldn't do it. Power of positive thinking- it's definitely a thing!

    I think focusing on speed is going to be good for you. It will give you a chance to get back to basics of running and give you a short break from the "wear and tear" distance running puts on a body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, who are these people in your life that say these things? I may have had doubters when I wanted to do a marathon, but I have no idea if I really did because no one ever SAID it to me! You need to do some spring cleaning.

      Delete
  6. Super cool! I think you'll kick butt at the 5k and 10k distances and get really fast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks James! I used to be fast...I'm looking forward to getting there again!

      Delete