One of the coolest things I’ve noticed since becoming a non-drinker

Hi! It’s August! WTF?

Where I live we haven’t had much of a summer so far. We don’t usually get a ton of warm and fabulous weather up here on the north coast of BC, but it looks like a streak of sunny days may have finally arrived! Ahhh get outside, ASAP!!

Driving to work today I was thinking about how I just had four days off and now it’s my turn to work the coming weekend, which happens to be August long weekend. Sigh. But, after the initial thought about this not being ideal, I started to observe the ways my feelings toward a situation like this one have shifted since I kicked booze out of my life. Let me explain.

A year and a half ago (or any time prior) if I discovered it were my turn to work over a long weekend I would become plagued with anxiety, victim-like thinking and FOMO. If you aren’t familiar, FOMO is the fear of missing out. In the past, in my opinion a party weekend was hands-down the best thing ever. Like, ever. Since getting drunk and wild was my favourite thing to do, as well as part of my identity, the thought of missing out was actually torture.

POOR ME!!! EVERYONE is going to have so much fun partying without me!! I’m going to miss out on all the craziness and the laughs and the drunk idiotic entertainment! This is unthinkable. What am I going to do? My friends are probably going to forget I exist!!! OMG. It’s so unfair that I have to work! I bet it’s going to be the MOST fun ever had on any weekend, EVER. Legendary memories will be made and I’ll be left out. If I can’t be with everyone, the long weekend should be cancelled!!!

I would feel some resentment towards my then-boyfriend and my friends for “leaving me behind” (lol) and then proceed to mope around, feel sorry for myself, whine about it and worry. Oh, but not without desperately trying to find others in the same “unbearable situation” as myself who might be staying around town and want to get together and “have so much fun” getting drunk while “everyone else” was at the lake, camping, festival-ing, etc. I confess that I’d even feel a little better when another person would tell me that they also had to work over the weekend. Misery loves company. What a dick I was!

Just too be clear, I’d prefer to be off this coming weekend. Duh haha. BUT, here are where things have changed:

First, for the record, if indeed completely free this weekend, I’d likely head to the lake and spend three days the way I prefer to lately, as a non-drinker. This is just a little different (but better) than the past. There is all the usual stuff but with a sober twist. Boating, possibly quadding, fires, maybe some bocce (all more safe and more memorable), going to bed at a reasonable hour in our trailer, which is SO comfortable and peaceful (when one can remember doing so)..then, my Saturday long run wouldn’t suck, because of the absence of cotton-mouth and a raging headache. I’d get back at the time most others wake up, so no missing out on breakfast! Coffee tastes amazing because it doesn’t feel like I beer-bonged hydrochloric acid the night before. The rest of the day in the sun is perfect, because I am not disgustingly dehydrated and don’t have a stomachache or migraine while ripping around in the boat or laying in the heat on the dock. Not forgetting to eat lunch is also great. Sober weekends, holy shit. Unreal. Glad I discovered them when I did, and not later!

So, wait. If I still love a good weekend as much or more than I did when I was a piss-tank, why am I not sad about missing out? First: with some sober experience under my belt, I no longer consider the only way to have fun as drinking a shit-ton of beer and fireball. Second: after I personally realized that there is a plethora of ways to connect with others, nature and myself DAILY that don’t revolve around drinking, I simply stopped caring about missing out on a long weekend or party here and there. Who cares? Try asking yourself that, it’s crazy. “Who cares?” I can extract the same satisfaction and other good feelings from almost any day of this life, it turns out! Who knew?

Day-to-day life without alcohol is filled with so much more energy, motivation and awareness that I don’t really give a shit if it’s a three-day-weekend or a weekday of work. Every day seems to offer me the same opportunity to feel good and capitalize on my free time, however much or little there happens to be. Life isn’t filled with such extreme highs and lows anymore. I don’t plod along waiting for the next super fun party, event or vacation. Having, for example, approximately four hours before and after work to make the most of, is fantastic and I look forward to those windows of time now just as much as I look forward to a full day off. Maybe it’s because I’m more present? Have more clarity? Anyways. A run before work in the sun (or the rain!) when the roads are empty because everyone else is out of town or still sleeping is just as serene as a run on any other day in any given place. And coffee at my kitchen table without a hangover is equally as peaceful as coffee on the porch at the cabin or by the campfire. In my right mind, I know that being away from my crew for one fun weekend isn’t going to result in anyone forgetting about my friendship or our future plans. It also doesn’t mean I won’t have my own amazing weekend!

I’ve come to find, and apparently other sober people I know have similarily discovered, that FOMO becomes minimal if not non-existent when a person takes away the blur of booze and begins to connect in more ways with the wide-spread opportunities of daily life around them. I love fun shit and I love fun people. I guess I just gave myself the chance to learn that my spectrum of fun is far more broad than I ever thought it might be. My appreciation for an hour of free-time now compares with a glorious, responsibility-free long weekend. Quitting drinking happens to be what changed my perspective.

So yeah. Removed booze from life – discovered that pretty much all days are great and have equal potential for good times –  noticed that FOMO isn’t real. Cool!

Of course I’d love to be off this weekend. Hell, I’d retire if I could! Gahaha. Do I predict a lame weekend? Absolutely not! I predict the exact opposite! Will I suffer from the depressing effects of the fear of missing out? Hell no. FOMO isn’t real unless you believe in it. Bring on sunny mornings, way too much coffee, relaxing evenings, sunsets and maybe a random unexpected adventure. Life is fuckin gooooooood.

@jammiekomadina

 

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Running Past Self-Limiting Beliefs! (+ scary goals for spring race season)

WOOO it’s officially spring in less than a month, and spring training is well underway. Where I live, we have just four local races per year. Each is awesome in its own way, but I am extra excited this year. Our first one is April 9th and if you’re interested you can read more about it here #rupertrunners yayaaa

If you keep up with this blog at all, you may be familiar with the “category” I originally put myself in as a runner, which I now identify as the “slow, sucky runner” category, which isn’t even a real thing, by the way. If you run, you’re a runner. The terms slow and fast are totally relative and mean completely different things to different people. I do my best not to use the term slow anymore, because it is often used negatively, plus slow for one person is light speed to another. Running is running! However, I know I’m not alone when I say that right off the bat I decided I was slow, non-competitive and simply running to cross finish lines, stay fit, feel proud and collect bling. That’s it. And there’s nothing wrong with that! But looking back now, this was my way of protecting myself from failing, although I couldn’t tell you what that means exactly, and my way of avoiding doing difficult, scary stuff like trying new things and pushing through and past comfort zones. I didn’t even try to run faster until last summer!

Looking back now, this was my way of protecting myself from failing, although I couldn’t tell you what that means exactly, and my way of avoiding doing difficult, scary stuff like pushing through and past comfort zones.

I spent a large portion of last Fall working with Suzanne on extinguishing (or taming to the best of my ability) some self-limiting beliefs. Being a slow, sucky runner was one of mine that we focused on a lot, which really boils down to the Trump of all self-limiting beliefs for the majority of people, which is “not being good enough.”  When a person is born, he or she doesn’t have any beliefs about themself, the world or about life yet; we develop these beliefs over time based on our experiences and our interactions with parental figures and other authority figures such as teachers, coaches and care-givers. We then can find ourselves as adults with some very unhelpful ideas about ourselves. As we wrapped up the limiting beliefs unit (which was unbelievable, by the way,) the so-called finale was when I went to Vancouver to run Try Events‘ Historic Half with some friends. I got the chance to execute my race the way I wanted to based on everything Suzanne and I worked on together and it was a huge breakthrough race for me!

Here’s the story. In 2013 I ran my first half. The training was with Team in Training and I was very inconsistent. Despite half-assing the program I crossed the finish-line at the Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon in San Francisco in 02:32:xx and got my first taste of the complete race-day experience. Absolutely incredible! At the time, I knew nothing about pace or how long it took different people to run 21.1 km. I ran it to complete it, and in my opinion that’s exactly what should be done the first time around, whatever your first goal race is. I got a lot better with consistency and trained through the following spring to run the BMO Vancouver 1/2 in May 2014 and finished up with a 02:10:54. I was surprised and very happy with that 22 minute improvement! A new PR! (Personal record.) But I was still running totally within my comfort zone. By that time I’d gotten myself a watch for running (loved my Garmin Forerunner 10) and it was during that spring that I developed a full-blown complex around paces per kilometer that had a 5 in front of them. I for some reason decided that 05:xx/km was really fast, too fast for me to maintain, and that I was content staying where I was, pace-wise. These numbers are irrelevant to my point. Running faster was scary, hard and uncomfortable. So scary. But I decided it was okay because I believed I was just running to log distance, stay in shape, collect bibs and finisher’s medals and enjoy the camaraderie of running. At races, before even starting, I accepted that I was just there to participate, take it easy, let the “fast people” do their thing and be a part of the running community. The next three half marathons I ran I did not improve my finish time nor my race day experience, largely because of the things I believed about myself as a runner.

At the Historic Half, I didn’t believe that shit anymore, or was doing my very best not to believe it. I was focusing on new, inspiring beliefs that had real evidence. I proved to myself that I am not in fact a “slow, sucky runner” but that I am strong, and continue to get stronger every day. I can run faster and for a longer period of time than I believed was possible just a few months earlier. The sub-2 hour half was mine! This is just the beginning of a whole new mindset! If you are someone who has decided to believe something like I did about yourself, I encourage you to examine that belief and start to do what you can to change your thinking, which will in turn change your actions and your reality. Taking myself out of the slow, sucky runner category was the first step to seeing some great results and loving my sport of choice even more than ever!

Taking myself out of the slow, sucky runner category was the first step to seeing some great results and loving my sport of choice even more than ever!

side note: I am not saying that races are solely about finish times or about trying to win. What I am saying is that they’re the perfect opportunity to test the limits and prove to ourselves that we can do hard things that previously seemed out of reach or impossible.

I’m telling you all of this because self-limiting beliefs are a HUGE LOAD OF SHIT. Do NOT believe that you are not or cannot become as strong as you’d like to be! After I ran my first full marathon in 2016 there was a shift and I knew I was capable of more than I was giving myself credit for. Once I started experimenting with different kinds of speed work and doing workouts from my coach that intimidate me and make me uncomfortable (or even almost puke at times, lol) I realized that blasting through my perceived barriers was part of the exhilaration of being a runner! With all of this, and with Suzanne‘s help, I finally began to believe new positive and true things about myself and my capabilities instead of untrue things that held me back. We really do set our own limits. What we believe becomes our reality. Do not put yourself into a box. Don’t label yourself as a “back-of-the-pack’er” or “just average” or even as a runner who “places sometimes.” Try as hard as possible to shake off those preconceived ideas and GO FOR IT every single day. That’s my goal this season: to fully believe that I can keep getting better and better and continue to surprise myself by reaching new milestones – not every single race, but as often as possible.

That’s my goal this season: to fully believe that I can keep getting better and better and continue to surprise myself by reaching new milestones – not every single race, but as often as possible.

 

Really “Scary” Goals

(will be revised as races approach, and Coach Andrew might make them even scarier)

West Van Run 10km – March 5th

  • don’t go out too fast
  • say yes instead of no to discomfort
  • average pace goal 5:15 (totally bull. I wanted to, knew I could, and DID run faster than this. 4:59/km average pace!!!)

Prince Rupert 1/2 Marathon – April 9th

  • be mentally tough – don’t let the monotony of a road I run almost every single weekend psych me out or mess with my beliefs
  • approach “the big hill” as confident as ever
  • average pace goal 5:30, try for a final km split of 5:00

(this is not a sandbagger goal, I am running a 14 mile (22.5km) training run the day before and this is not a goal race of mine. If it were, I’d aim for more like 5:20/km average)

Tenacious Ten 10 miler – April 22nd

  • don’t go out too fast
  • 5:10-ish pace goal
  • be excited instead of nervous for this new and unique race distance
  • let the West Van 10km be a confidence booster!

Scotiabank Calgary Marathon – May 28th

  • STAY PRESENT and run the kilometer I’m in
  • trust my training
  • negative split the marathon for the first time
  • sub 5:40/km average pace goal

 

Remember those t-shirts that were an absolute must-have in the 90’s, NO FEAR? I want one. And that will be the end of this post. NO FEAR of discomfort, “failure,” new challenges or trying really f%#&ing hard.

nofear

 

Life: Some of the Worst things People say or ask. Whyyyy

You know those times in life when you’re left standing with a puzzled look on your face, crafting a delayed response to a question or comment someone made a few moments earlier that was dumb, unhelpful or even downright insulting? Yesterday at the gym I found myself in this situation and it inspired me to write about a few of the dumbest ways that people ask and say things to others – without thinking first! And often to people they don’t even know very well!

WHY. Seriously. Why is it necessary for a person to offer up their opinion in question or comment form when it wasn’t requested, needed or wanted? I’ve had conversations about this with others before, so I know I’m not alone in my confusion regarding this topic. This is a rant, really, but I hope it’s relatable and I hope we can all learn from it, because I know I’ve accidentally been “that guy” before. It happens. But COME on. And, the worst is when we come up with the perfect come-back after it’s too late. Dang.

 

“You look tired.”

sheldon

Ahaha, why, thank you! WTF? This is like going up to someone and saying, hey how’s it going, you look shitty today! Everybody has a bad night’s sleep here and there, or a hectic week or even just an off-day! What purpose does it serve to point out to a person that they aren’t looking as fresh as usual? Extreme confusion. Quit saying this to people! It’s not nice.

 

“What are you doing working on such a nice day!?”

seth

What the serious F kind of question is this??? HAHAHA. Well you see, I got up this morning and it was supposed to be my day off, but I saw how nice it was outside so I immediately phoned into work and said, “Hey! It’s super sunny today so I think I will work instead of having the day off!” Hahaha are you kidding me? For those people who work for someone other than themselves, do you wake up in the morning and decide then and there if you will be working or not on a given day? NO. People have schedules and they don’t usually come with a special “great weather clause” to accomodate a warm sunny day. Jesus. And in the case it is someone who is their own boss, they’re probably working because there are things that need to get done, or their business has hours of operation!

 

“Where’s Jamie? Did she move?”

melissa

I’m dead serious, people ask my colleagues this when I’m not at my place of work. She’s not here, so she must have moved. WHAT? LOL. Have they not heard of a day off? Do most people who work with the public work seven days a week, every single day of the year? I have nothing else to say about this. Except that it leads me to the next one, this usually happens at the grocery store or while doing other errands on a day off…

 

“What are you doin’ off work today?!”

chelsea

People get days off sometimes.

 

“Why don’t you have have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”

rock

How do you? hahaha. Hmm. Maybe this person you’re rudely cornering likes being single, hasn’t found the right person yet, won’t settle, isn’t looking, just got dumped or really looks forward to being in a healthy, happy relationship but it just hasn’t fallen into place yet? Go away. And, why does it matter!?!?!?!!!?!?

 

“What are you doin’ workin’ on the weekend!??”

arya

Uh. It’s the year 2017. I’d say the majority of businesses, or at least half of them these days, are open more than just Monday to Friday. At places that the general population (including the person asking) expects to be open every single day, someone has to work on the weekend. Sometimes that person is me. Like, do they think I’m some A-hole who forces another employee to work every single weekend (as if, and impossible) while I go do whatever I want each and every Saturday and Sunday? Wrong. And please, don’t make the pity face. Days off during the week are some of the most peaceful and/or productive days in history. Ask any server, nurse, shift-worker, flight attendant, pharmacist, retailer or restaurant owner, just to name a few. Or, if asking someone who does work for themself, maybe there’s stuff that needs to get done!

 

“You have really (insert unneccesary observation about someone’s appearance)”

amy

Example from my experience: “You have really short legs.” Crazy, I haven’t noticed in the thirty-two years that I’ve been alive! Let’s estimate that I have looked in the mirror once daily for my entire life. Obviously it’s been many times on some days, and zero times on others, like when I was a baby, but just to simplify, let’s go with 11,721 times. I’VE NOTICED. There is a very good chance that something noticeable about a person may be their biggest insecurity. Don’t point it out! What purpose does this serve? Hey, you have short legs, have you heard about that leg-lengthening potion on Dr. Oz? F off hahahaha.

 

“You’re not going to like that tattoo when you’re an old lady.”

betty

First of all, how does this concern you in any way, person making stupid comment? It’s the 21st century; we, the people who get tattoos, are fully aware that they are permanent. That’s the point, haha. We are also fully aware that as living beings, as days go by we age and our bodies, including our skin, change. We also do not care. I’m sorry that you are so concerned with what others think, but lots of others are NOT. Give your head a shake. Personally, I have no idea if I’ll be wearing tank tops and shorts when I’m elderly, but I’ll decide for myself when the time comes and I’m not going to ask some random person if they think it still looks “good”, whatever the hell that even means.

 

“So, you got married! When are you going to have babies?”

fran

How do you know the person in question even wants kids? Why are you assuming that this person’s next item on the to-do list is to reproduce? How do you know this person is capable of having children? Why do you think the person wants to discuss this with you? Maybe they had a miscarriage, abortion or hysterectomy yesterday. Why do you think children are what automatically follow marriage?? I could (and likely will) write an entire blog post just about this question. STOP.

 

“Do you work here?”

eric

HAHAHA. No, I’m just wearing this embroidered jacket/vest/apron/lanyard and name tag to pretend I work here and look cool.

 

And, the comment from a fellow gym member that got me writing this post:

“I’ll tell you right now, you’re gonna mess up your back stretching like that.” (Or any other remark lacking supportive, helpful or positive feedback)

Interesting. First and foremost, who asked you? Not me! Next, how do you know more about my body than I do? For anyone who’s into yoga, are you familiar with Supta Virasana, also known as sleeping/reclined hero pose? I am (that’s the pose I was in) and the reason I’m familiar with this pose is because I’ve been doing it for eight years, originally taught by certified instructors. I’ve been teaching this pose myself for four years, because I am a certified yoga instructor with over 570 hours of training. Also, I don’t have a “messed up back” from doing this stretch and if I did, I probably wouldn’t have been able to run the seven half marathons and three full marathons that I’ve completed more recently than the day I began practicing this yoga pose, plus hike, jump, twist, bend and do the movements off The OA. Just sayin. Unless someone is in a dangerious situation, asks for help, or is putting others around them at risk, it’s likely safe to just keep to yourself. .

supta

 

Let’s think before we speak. Not doing so can lead to exremely annoying interactions. Sometimes it can even create things like self-consciousness, sadness, anger, embarassement, frustration or simply putting a damper on what has been a good day so far. I am NOT saying I’ve never commited a single one of these crimes. What I am saying is that as human beings we can all do each other a favour by keeping our observations to ourselves at times, or before speaking asking ourselves, is this question/remark:

  • helpful
  • supportive
  • constructive
  • positive
  • welcome
  • open-minded

Or, is it:

  • meddlesome
  • presumptuous
  • useless
  • insulting
  • intrusive
  • biased

Have a great day!! And good luck out there bahaha