Progress and discovering the root of my fears


I thought I should write about my progress to date.

I drove to Ottawa by myself. 5+ hours on my own driving roads I’ve never driven before. I learned to trust my phone GPS/google maps to get me there. I troubleshooted bluetooth problems with my phone and my car. It is amazing the doors this small act has opened for me. I have a new found freedom. I can drive places that I’ve never driven before on my own. A small victory, right? But truly a life-changing event for me.

Running is a bit better. Only one of my feet hurt now. And it’s not as often or as intense. I think I really did need to break in my shoes–or my feet. I’m really not sure which. The foot that hurts is the same foot I’ve had troubles with before so it is no surprise. I am learning to accept that I really do need to be dedicated to my therapeutic exercise program. Knowing what to do is not enough…I actually have to do it.

I don’t really feel afraid of driving or running now. In fact, I’m not sure if fear is–or ever was–the correct word. What I’ve noticed  is I’ve had to fight my negative voice/thoughts every step of the way. Brene Brown explains that there is something other than fear that plays two primary tapes:

1. Not good enough

2. Who do you think you are

That something is shame.

For years I have told myself that I am not a good driver or a good runner. I am not good enough. Shame.

After I started driving to work, I thought about other places I could drive to…one of those places being Ottawa. It took several months for me to finally make the decision to drive vs. fly. And once I decided that yes I was good enough and could drive there, I was hounded by the who-do-you-think-you-are thoughts. The two weeks leading up to the trip were filled with anxiety. On the day of the trip I lost my appetite completely. No need for road trip snacks. In fact, the tuscan chicken sandwich with onions that I bought for lunch on the way there sat in my car for 2 days virtually untouched and filled the car with the most putrid rotten onion smelI for the drive home. But I digress. Suffice it to say, it didn’t go perfectly. I was forced to face problems as they arose. And now I feel confident that I could do another road trip–even if it didn’t go perfectly. We are “hardwired for struggle” according to Brene Brown and after going through that process I can definitely say I feel calmer and more willing to face the unknown, at least in the car.

Running has been a tougher habit to keep. I am reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book “Better than Before”. It is all about habits. I  am hoping it will help me develop a stronger habit of running. The longer I wait between runs, the more I hear the “not good enough” voice. For about two weeks though I felt like I had that voice under control. I kept going out. Some of the runs did not go well. The pain in the foot forced me to walk more than run. And that was when the “who do you think you are” voice took over. “See Wendy, you can’t do this. Your foot is always going to hurt. Why on earth did you think you could do this?” I guess it won, for a short while anyway, because I haven’t run in over a week.

Tomorrow I will get back on track with running.

Today I will do my foot exercises.

I can do this.


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