Whether it's me and my acne, or a woman with stretch marks (Hey Beautiful), we all have insecurities. For some, insecurities serve as inspiration to exercise. For others, it serves as a constant hurdle . Whoever you are, you are or have been insecure about something. The question I want to address is, in terms of running and in life is, how do we deal with insecurities?
I don't like my acne. I don't like how how my face looks, so I don't like taking pictures. In fact, i'm usually surprised when I look nice in a picture. Primarily because I always expect my acne to garner more attention than anything else. Same goes for my body. I absolutely despise the notion of my bare chest floating around on the internet. It's not something i'm proud of. I feel like it's perceived as overly sexual and takes away from my talents and credibility as a professional. Furthermore as a runner, I hate my speed. EVERY SINGLE TIME I show up to practice (Shoutout to Black Roses NYC and The Breakfast Club), I get lapped by some little pip squeak(I say that with love). You see, I'm not used to NOT being the best at something. Regardless of whether I intended to or not, I usually am one of the best athletes whenever I participate in a sport.
So how does one deal with these feelings? Should I just not run? Should I simply just not post before & after photos of myself on social media? I mean, I could just hide from the world and refuse to address these imperfections, right? I don't know what others deal with on a day to day, but I know we all have our own issues. For every good quality one has, there lies 2 more that may need some improvement. Giving up on myself, as a runner and person just feels like a waste of God's work. I mean I was created for something, why shouldn't I excel at whatever "it" is?
Like you, I don't always like myself, or how l look, or how I perform. But there is something to be gained through attempting to improve. Progress, gains, building, improving, or the lack there of is what defines us. Whether measured by 0.00001 seconds being shaved off of your 5K time, or just simply being a more concerned and thoughtful person, progress is a reflection of ones growth. In time, eventually, you will progress enough where your growth will be substantial. People will begin to notice, you may even be complimented, and all of this because YOU decided to better yourself.
There is nothing wrong with being insecure. We all have or had something that we wish we could alter about ourselves. How one addresses their issues, however, is where you find out what a person is made of.
I read once that there is strength in community. When dealing with insecurities, I would suggest connecting with like minds. You see, running helps me be a better person. That statement assumes one is self-aware, and looking to change. I connect best with other runners who run for same reasons as I do, for growth, for love.
As stated earlier, everyone has insecurities. You desire growth, why not connect with people who want the same thing, in the same way as you? I mean we live in a world where content is seldom kept secret. Why not engage with vibes of like minds, focusing on progressing in the same way? That's what I've done with Black Roses NYC.
Aside from that, I would suggest some alone time. My generation, specifically, is consumed by social engagement. Much of our lives are so intrenched in the lives of others, that we lose sight of ourselves. The key, one would suggest, is balance. The Yin Needs the Yang and vice versa. Spend sometime alone, writing, seeing a film, going for a run. Figure out what makes you happy, and continue to find comfort and growth in that space.
Insecurities are like hurdles in a race...Whether you're running (GO YOU) or walking (GO YOU TOO) stay in the race. I pray the next time you look in the mirror and see something you don't like, you address it like a hurdle in a race. Zealous, under control, and unafraid.