It’s late and I’m brooding. I’m still so disappointed with my less than stellar performance at the Nike Women’s Marathon. I know that on the outside I smile, and tell everyone that I’m okay. I believe that that’s what most want to hear because I really don’t want to know what would happen should I just blurt out that I’m actually not okay, that I am actually very disappointed in myself, and that I’m not happy. I don’t want others to feel sorry for me or pity me. I don’t want any special treatment. It’s just how I feel. But I lie because it’s just not worth listening to everyone tell me how great I did, what my accomplishments are, etc., or seeing that look of shock on their faces. I lie because I am embarassed at how I feel, and because I am ashamed that I would even think this way.
It’s crazy to define myself by a marathon finishing time. It’s just a number. It has nothing to do with who I am, it’s just a number. A marathon finishing time is something that I have done, it is by no means who I am. Why would I do this to myself? Am I that shallow that I would let that number affect me in the way that it has? It’s so hard for me to be positive about this whole experience that I cried. I cried. I never cry! What does this mean?
I believe that much of this stems from my upbringing. My mother had very high expectations of me, most of which I never lived up to. Therefore, this means that you can only imagine what kind of trouble I got into. It would not behoove anyone to rehash the past, or to blast my upbringing. It is what it is, and what’s done is done. I can’t go back and change anything. Just know that the expectations were VERY HIGH, and to not live up to them was painful – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I believe that I’m waiting for that slap and that verbal lashing that I received when things went wrong in the past. I know that it’s not coming, but in a sense it is as I am giving it to myself. What has happened is that the expectations that I have for myself are so high that when I don’t reach the expected goal, I am giving myself the lashing that I believe that I deserve.
What’s happened to me? I am no longer that small, helpless child. I am an adult with a family of my own, a grown woman. Can I not see this? Is that inner child of mine still looking for recognition and acceptance from my parents? I love my inner child. I’ve worked so hard to tell that child that she has always been loved and accepted by me. I’ve talked to that little girl until I’m blue in the face, about how our parents did the best that they could with what they had, and expressed their love to the best of their ability. I thought she knew. I believe that she does know, it’s just that sometimes she has a little regression. My inner child knows that she’s safe, and she understands, but she’s a kid and she needs constant reminders. I’m an adult and deep down inside of me, it still hurts.
I can’t seem to change what I know is irrational. I can tell my children, I can tell others, and I can convince myself for a minute, but ultimately I remember only what I learned as a child … that what I did was not good enough, that I should have worked harder, etc.
What does it say about me that I am so disappointed with my time? Does that mean that I think less of those that finished around the same time or later than me? Ahhhhhhh …. NO, that’s not what I said, nor is that what I implied. I said that I was disappointed in MYSELF, no one else. I am happy that there were so many out there, running, braving the elements, and finishing! The time was only important to ME! I am proud and happy for those that ran, gutted out that bad boy, and finished! Please don’t confuse that or put words in my mouth.
So what defines me? I really don’t know, do you? I’m Row. Smart. Beautiful. Selfish. Strong willed. Strong bodied. Strong of faith. Mother of four kiddos. Married to a great guy. ER Registered Nurse. Runner. Marathoner. Work-out-a-holic. Gym Rat. Black belt in Krav Maga. Reader. Writer. Do these things define me? I would think not as these are things that I do or believe that I am.
So … what, then, would define me? How would one define oneself? Does anyone know? Can anyone help me define “Row.”?