This past year is the first time in a long time, that I have not accomplished my committed New Year Resolution. This year I had set my eyes on completing a 100-mile ultra-run. A few months into training, my body let me know that was not in the cards for me. Eventually I made the decision to stop running all together, it was the healthiest option for me. There I was, a few months into the year, with a larger challenge than a botched resolution. I was having an identity crisis.
When I lost running, I felt as if I had lost a part of myself. I did not realize how much of my identity was wrapped up in running, in being a runner. When I look back on some of my fondest memories, they revolve around running. Anyone who knew me, knew I was a runner. So there I was asking myself, “who am I now?”. This was not the first time, nor will it be the last time, I pondered this question. I don’t think I am alone in falling into the trap of confusing the roles that we play and things that we do with who we are; so that when the job goes away, the kids move out, or the divorce papers are signed we are left asking ourselves, who am I now? I think Deepak Chopra is onto it when he says, “We have to really educate ourselves in a way about who we are, what our real identity is.”
So this year, instead of training for 100-mile ultra, I decided to try to better educate myself on who I am. Here are a few things I discovered:
- Many of the characteristics that I attributed to being a runner, such as being tough and resilient, are actually who I am regardless of what I am doing.
- I had to accept that something I loved was not good for me and I had to choose to let it go.
- I was reminded that the grieving process is not reserved for death.
- I remembered that sometimes I need to throw out Plan A and find my best plan B.
- I realized my friends can be a better read than me when it comes to who I am.
I don’t think there is a finish line for educating ourselves on who we really are, but there is a lot of great scenery along the route. So whether you hit your resolution, fell short or never set one, take time to reflect not only on what you did this last year, but also on who you have become. And if you need some help in seeing your amazingness, invite your friends over…They can give you the best view of you sometimes.