Give Yourself a Little Grace

One Sunday a couple months ago, I was standing outside of church talking with a few run club friends. The morning before I had embarked on a long run with two dear running friends. Two really good runners. And, when I say really good, I mean they were pacing 7:30/miles for 8 miles in the middle of a humidity-filled North Carolina summer.

I was NOT pacing 7:30/miles. Not even close. And as I tried to keep up, I kept falling behind. I was embarrassed. I felt defeated. And, to be honest, I was a bit jealous. I was thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I keep up?” It brought me down a bit and hurt my pride a little. Putting all of that aside, and on a positive note, their company was great and it felt good to be running.

Anyways, as we were standing outside of the church and I was chatting with one of the girls I had run with the day prior, I was beating myself up pretty bad. Saying things like, “I did terrible. You girls killed it” and “I’ve got a lot of work to do to get on your level.”

Her response: “You need to give yourself a little grace!”

My response: an awkward laugh and a “You’re right.”

But, as I walked away from that conversation, I kept repeating what she said in my head. What the heck does that even mean? And I’ve gone back to it time and time again over the past couple of months.

I learned what it meant this week.

As you may or may not know, I pulled my hamstring back in September and haven’t been able to run much since. It’s been a bit devastating to me. When your release is taken away from you and you have to figure out how to cope without it, it’s not an easy ride.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with peaks and valleys, anxiety and low moments. I unintentionally distanced myself from my friends and family and worked A LOT. I was forcing myself to see the joy in life, but at the same time unable to be at peace. This week, the improvisation of workouts, the stress, the anxiety, and the frustration of not being able to run came to a head and I knew if I didn’t slow down, I was going to have a break down. 

That’s when my dear friend’s words “Give yourself a little grace” popped into my head.

Maybe that’s what she meant. Maybe she actually meant stop putting so much pressure on myself. Maybe she meant be gentle and kind to myself.

And there are a few ways to look at grace:

  1. Elegance.
  2. Unmerited favor of God.
  3. To honor by one’s presence.

So, maybe, giving yourself grace means all of these things. Be elegant and kind with your words to others and to yourself. Bask in the warmth of the undeserved love and goodness of God. And be happy with your own presence – who you are, all of it.

Maybe my body is trying to tell me something. Maybe I haven’t healed yet because I haven’t given it the time and space to heal. I haven’t given it the “grace” it needs to get better. And, surely, the negativity isn’t helping either.

So I want to thank my friend for, in a short little sentence, changing my perspective on my situation. Thank you for helping me to slow down. To be patient and to be kind.

And this week I challenge you. Give yourself a little grace. Slow down. Relax. Laugh. Let yourself enjoy each and every moment.

I’m grateful for these moments:

 

ARC Running!
Voting!
Weddings!
Workouts with great friends!
Running races with people I care about!

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I overcame an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression with the help of this wonderfully amazing thing called running. And that's why I'm here - to share my story and to help those who are going through what I've already gone through. On this blog you'll find running tips, mental health tips, and lots of joy. Join me as we piece life together one run at a time.

5 thoughts on “Give Yourself a Little Grace

  1. This is such a great post and so relatable. I used to run 5-6 days a week, but because my knees never quite bounced back after a marathon a few years ago, I can currently only run 3 days a week. 4 if it’s a good week. Sure, I spin and lift and try to do stuff the other days, but it’s not the same. I was beating myself up and feeling like less of a runner. I was constantly comparing myself and feeling really down. Until someone I love gave me similar advice to what you received and told me that I was made to be me and not anyone else. It kind of helped me to put my focus on my own life and to find joy in whatever I can do, even if it means walking the dog because my knees hurt and even if it means doing nothing but spend time with someone I love or even with myself. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and beat yourself up when it feels like you don’t compare, but it’s always important to remember that no one compares to you in so many ways. It’s something I constantly have to remind myself! Anyway. Sorry if this is long and jumbled. But your post really resonated with me!

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    1. Wow thank you so much for the beautiful words! It’s incredible to think about isn’t it? That we can put ourselves in a downward spiral simply because we’re creating a false competition. I’m so happy you found peace from that! It’s tough to get there (and I’m still not there yet!). I love what you said about spending time with others. Also about walking. Runners forget about walking sometimes! What a beautiful thing to be in motion, but slow and steady at the same time. I think we need to spend more time walking 😊 thank you again for reaching out. I’m happy it helped, if in any sort of way, and in return it feels good knowing I’m not alone! Have a wonderful week ❤️

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  2. Oh girl…I feel your pain. I was booted last fall with a broken foot, and it nearly killed me. While my runs are slow and short, they are my release. And when they were taken from me, I turned into a person I could hardly recognize. Keep those words at the front of your mind when you are finally cleared to run again because returning from an injury is tough. I keep thinking I need to join y’all for your Tuesday night run club–but I’m so slow y’all would probably lap me twice! I hope you heal up quickly, love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh I had no idea. You poor thing! Thank you for the positivity ❤ Yes, please come to run club! I've been walking it the past couple of weeks. It's so much fun. Hope to see you soon!

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