Guest Post #4 (Realization)

Hey amigos! 

I’m so happy to be doing a guest post for my girl Jessie this week—I read her all the time, and am constantly inspired by her positivity and genuine sweetness. 

Don’t you just love her?? 

Anyway, I’m Sloane, and I blog over at StrengthInFreedom 

 I love making new friends, so come check out my ramblings!

 When I was thinking about what to write about for this post, I really wanted to do something that reminded me of Jessie and her amazing spirit. Almost immediately I was struck by the name of her blog—Jessie Loves to Run.

It’s simple, but absolutely perfect. She does what she loves!

You see, I was a competitive swimmer for almost my entire life. I dabbled in dance, rowing, and basketball, but I come from a family of high-level swimmers, and I felt for a long time that to truly gain acceptance and approval, I had to be a good swimmer too. I spent years trying to convince myself that I loved it. I had success in high school, and went to the University of Tennessee on a swimming scholarship. The problem was, my heart was never truly in it. For me, swimming was only a means to the end of feeling like I had value and importance. And though I swore up and down to my family, friends, teammates, coaches, and most of all myself that I loved the sport, loved competing, loved training my ass off, I was lying. My heart was never in it.

Often after winning a race or swimming a PR, I would cry because I was so terrified of the new standard of success I’d set for myself. I was scared of what would happen to me if I never achieved that level of success again. Let me tell you, this is no way to live.

Since ending my career in swimming, I’ve realized the importance of finding things that I really do truly adore—and I now know what it feels like to participate in an activity that truly brings me sheer joy without any pressure or anxiety.

What I love about Jessie is that she runs because it brings her this sense of joy. When I read her blog, I can see how much she truly enjoys the feeling of a good run, but she also doesn’t beat herself up whenever she has a bad run. 

When I no longer had swimming in my life, I found it incredibly difficult to figure out what to do with myself fitness-wise. Even though the pressure of the sport was removed, I felt this intense need to start a new workout regimen that included cardio, strength, etc. Although I enjoy a good workout and feeling my body move, I was again doing these things for all the wrong reasons.

This is a pattern I noticed in many areas of my life…I applied to law school because it sounded important, I formulated all sorts of future plans so that I could show others that I had a handle on where my life was headed, and I could go on and on.

What I’ve started to learn recently is that doing things for the accolades or false sense of security they bring to your identity is toxic. There is so much out there for you to enjoy simply because it makes you feel good, that there is absolutely no reason to engage in things that you don’t love.

Though I don’t share Jessie’s passion for running, I have recently started in intense love affair with yoga and writing. Nothing has ever brought me as much joy and spiritual fulfillment as these two things. Yoga does incredible things for my body and mind, and writing (even just blogging and journaling) has helped me connect with a spiritual and creative side of myself that I never knew was within me.

Are there any accolades that come from either of these two activities? No. Is there any award I can possibly receive for going to yoga? No. Will either of these things lock me down a secure job with a sick paycheck and a closet full of designer clothes? Not likely. But I choose to do them anyway. We all deserve to find something that we absolutely adore, and pursue it to the fullest.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my little blurb—Can’t wait til Jessie gets back to blogging, but I know she’s having a marvelous time on her vacation!

 

Xoxo

 

What things bring you the most joy?

Have you ever done something for a really long time only to discover that you hated it?

 

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10 thoughts on “Guest Post #4 (Realization)

  1. Wow!! Good morning! I’ll have my inspiration with a little smiling success on the side today, thanks! What an amazingly uplifting post. I sincerely hope that you never stop doing what truly makes you happy. I am definitely going to by trying to shift my mindset more this way for the future. I think I’m mostly there, but not quite. It’s hard when you’re a perfectionist and feel the pressure, but I think it’s the courage behind your words that is the most inspiring — giving up what you were good at because you weren’t as happy as you could be. Thank you for writing such a moving piece!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Monday musings « Strength in Freedom

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