Saying No

There’s a lot of things I’ve been saying no to lately. This wasn’t always an easy thing for me to do. Still isn’t.

But as the years have gone by, I’ve found it necessary to say no to things that inhibit my growth as a person, a parent, a teacher, and a runner.

Here are few things I’ve said no to recently:

Saying no….to over scheduling. With school out, I’ve felt a little pressure to sign my kids up for all the things. At my daughter’s Pre-K graduation, several parents asked what camps my daughter would attend. Ummm…none? It didn’t even cross my mind to sign her up for anything. I just figured we’d hang out all summer together. It made me start questioning myself, “Should I put her in something? Am I being a bad mom for not signing her up for a class/camp?” But, no. She’s fine. I’m fine. She’ll be plenty busy when school resumes and summer time will be family time.

You guys, I have a Kindergartner!

Saying no….to all the the races. When I was training for New York City Marathon, I did not race at all during my training cycle. My eye was on the sub-4 prize and I didn’t want to lose my focus. I have the same feelings now about St. George. I’m on a mission to Boston Qualify and I don’t want to worry about races/PRs before that happens. I was signed up for Rock and Roll San Diego, a race I’ve been really wanting to do. As a Rock and Roll ambassador (Rock ‘n’ Blogger–did I even tell you guys I was selected?!?) I have the ability to go to any race. I jumped on San Diego…. But then life stuff came up and San Diego no longer fit in that plan–so I pulled out of the race. I have a ton of friends going this weekend and the FOMO is for real. But, I have to stay firm on my no. Beyond the life circumstances that came up preventing me from going, I also have to keep my eye on the BQ prize. So as of right now, I have zero races leading up to St. George.

Saying no….to negative thoughts. I mentioned in previous posts that I’m trying to get my diet together. I gained some weight after New York City and Phoenix Marathon and I’ve felt it (and seen it, sadly). It’s tough to put on clothes and them not fitting as they should–the negative thoughts start creeping in and it’s easy to let them overtake you. But no, I’m fine. I’m doing what I can (healthily) to lose those pounds I’ve gained, and I just need to be patient.

Saying no….to fear. I’ll be back to teaching this fall. Yay!!! And while I’m excited, I’m super scared and nervous to be at a new school, teaching a new subject–still English, but I’ll have two sections of beginner writing for non-English speakers. This is a foreign territory for me (see what I did there? I crack myself up!) and I have a thing about the unknown. I like knowing. Unfortunately, that’s just not how life works, lol!

Saying no….to comparisons. I’m really good about not comparing myself to others. I love following people’s training journey, and I’m able to be happy for their successes without feeling like I’m lacking or slow in comparison. I have a very good friend who is also training to BQ at St. George and people have joked if we’ll remain friends afterward. I think that’s so silly–we don’t compete against each other. We really don’t. We are genuinely happy when one has a good run or race. We don’t base our progress/success on whether one is faster than the other.

BQ training buddy ❤ #makeithappen

BUT, it’s very difficult for me to not compare myself to myself. I’ve written about this before. I’ve come off two marathon training cycles and I’ve allowed myself to rest/recover. Right now, as I begin my next cycle, I feel like I’m starting over–which I am. And I have to allow myself to be okay with that. I can’t expect my fitness to maintain year-round; my body needs some down time. I look at pictures/paces from last year (and even a few months ago) and I wonder if I’ll ever get back to those times. I know it’s dumb, but those negative thoughts again…they creep in. I re-read the post I wrote last year and I found myself nodding at my words:

“…right now it’s important for me to focus on the present. I shouldn’t be working on becoming someone I was a long time ago, I should work to be a better version of me–”

And as always with time and growth– each year, each marathon, you learn.

“I’m a better version of myself now than back then because I know more. I know more about training, diet, mental strength. I’m stronger on a lot of levels. And I know that with hard work, I can be faster than back then.”

I can say yes to all of that!

–What have you said ‘no’ to lately? Is there something you feel you should say ‘no’ to?

 

 

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An offer too good to refuse…except I had to

Way back when, seven years ago lol!, I started my teaching career. My first year I was so scared and intimidated by everything and everyone, especially the veteran teachers. Here I was, 22 years old, fresh out of college, wanting to teach high school juniors American literature–what the heck did I know about what I was doing??

The school that hired me had an absolutely amazing English department so I knew I was in good hands. (It still does despite many teachers retiring or moving on)

One of those teachers was a man named John–he worked there my first two years and his wife, also an English teacher, was actually my student/teacher mentor. John has a no nonsense aura about him; he doesn’t mince words and is super, super smart. Like you’re afraid to say something stupid in front him smart. I remember the first time I met him, I called him Mr. Prather, like if I was a student! He quickly said it was okay for me to call him by his first name, after all, we were co-workers. (eek!)

John was known for being a top teacher. All the students liked him and not because his classes were easy–in fact, his classes challenged the students and they loved it. At the time, he taught the same subject I did and yes, I felt like I was way out of my league compared to him.

In addition to being known as a fabulous teacher, John is an accomplished runner. He currently coaches our high school’s cross country team. He has the same success with his athletes that he does with his students in that they love his coaching style, respect him, and take on the challenges he gives them.

So when I got an e-mail from him last month offering me an assistant coaching position, I FREAKED OUT. I mean, I screamed out loud after reading.

This is a man whose intelligence I’d admired and respected, who I’ve always (even now) been kind of afraid to even talk to, asking ME to work beside him!

I didn’t know what to say.

A million things went through my head–yet, the main question was, could I do it?

I already knew the answer to that.

No.

😦

The high school I work at is a 40 minute drive from where I live. I have to leave at 6:30 in the morning to make it there on time and I drive against traffic both ways. With practices, I wouldn’t be getting home til past my kids’ bedtimes. Traveling would further keep me away from home. I couldn’t do it to my kids or my husband.

And oh yeah, I’m currently training for a marathon.

It just wouldn’t work. So, I e-mailed back a sad no.

I let him know that I was extremely honored to even be considered and that it would have been a dream to work with him. I know that I could have learned so much–with my own running and especially working with student athletes, something I’ve always wanted to do.

It was such a great opportunity, one that I hope I’ll get another chance at in the future when the time is right. I just know that that time is not now.

I made sure the e-mail went into the Saved folder so that I could go back and look at it every once and a while–I know that it’ll always be a good pick-me-upper when I need one 🙂

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Have you ever had to say no to something you really wanted to say yes to?

Do you always have a lot of things going on because you don’t want to say no? (For some reason, this is me. But I’m learning.)