Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Burnout Story Time : RUN/RIDerful Wednesday

It's important to take stock in life's everyday blessings. Sometimes I have so much going on that focusing on the small things make me smile, as well as force me to live in the moment and not take things for granted. My goal is to set aside one day a week to discuss a favorite quote or theme that currently resonates with me when it comes to running, BMX or just life in general.

This week's thoughts include:

Let's talk about burnout.

Recently, a friend and I were chatting and she mentioned her feelings of burnout from athletics in general. She is a very accomplished runner with many years of running and SO many marathons under her belt, and she admitted that her feelings of burnout were also accompanied by feelings of guilt and sadness. I experienced heavy burnout as well in my mid-20's, and possibly anyone who has spent a decade or more (or less, it's unique to everyone) in their sport has gone through these experiences as well. It's normal- and as much as these feelings are not wanted, they can also be seen as an opportunity to change up your routine. 

Whether that means changing up the way you train for your sport, taking a break altogether to cross train or picking up something new, SOMETHING has to change, if just for a little while. I feel that the most important thing to do when starting to feel it is to dig deep within yourself and understand the true cause of your burnout. It might surprise you.

When I was younger, my burnout from BMX (I took about 9 years off) had less to do with the actual training and racing ( I LOVED that part) and more to do with the social aspect of it all. At the time, there were several girls at our local tracks who seemed to relish drama. They were at every event; they loved to fight and argue and would spread lies, talk behind people's backs, and if there was no drama to be had- they would create more. It was bad at the track, and I would even get phone calls from the main drama-loving girl, I'll call her Bonnie, when I wasn't at the track. Bonnie would do everything in her power to draw me into her mess of a life and to stir up whatever gossip she could whip up out of thin air, and it constantly upset me. When you're younger you don't realize that these kinds of people are nothing and not worth your time. Instead you begin to internalize everything. I began to not want to go to the track. I remember thinking, "WHY am I wasting my time even being around these girls?", and slowly I stopped going to the track. I made better friends and left everything behind, mistakenly believing at the time that I would never be able to enjoy BMX in peace with those girls always around. Making other friends helped me tremendously, but I still could have been racing. Who did giving up BMX end up hurting? Me. I didn't realize the true source of my burnout at the time, and directed it towards the wrong thing.

When I picked BMX back up again after so long I also brought with it a  new perspective and a more experienced point of view. I also received the opportunity to join a wonderful team, I have the best teammates and so enjoy getting to hang out with so many great people at the track. What I've learned is this: There will always be people like Bonnie around, and like her, I now realize that those people aren't worth my time. No one can scare me away from doing a sport that I love ever again, and I love having that attitude! Don't let ANYONE keep you from doing what you love- don't give them that satisfaction. On the other hand, if you really don't love what you're doing anymore, don't let guilt or the fear of what people might say stop you from making changes to your routine. It's your life - OWN IT. 💓


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