Mindfulness: On surrounding yourself with people who get it

I started dating someone at the start of this year who, objectively speaking, seemed like a good match for me. We had a connection on our first date, and I was excited to see where things would go. But after several weeks of dating, it just seemed like something wasn’t right. Something missing. A lack of clicking. 
 
My main gripe, however, was the whole marathon issue. He just didn’t get it. I wasn’t asking him to come on training runs with me, or rub my sore feet, or be personally invested in my goal, but I needed him to care because I cared. I’ve been listening to the audiobook Achieving the Impossible, by British Olympic coach Professor Greg Whyte. One of the keys, he says, to completing an audacious goal, is to get all the major players in your life on board: family, coworkers, friends and significant others. That way, the logic goes, it’ll be easier for you to make the inevitable sacrifices that come with achieving something truly challenging.
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To be honest, I haven’t really had to work hard to get the people in my life on board; they know I’m a runner, and they know the marathon distance is one of the stand-out goals in many a runner’s life. They understood. But apparently it’s not so easy with everyone. It was taking a lot of effort and patience to get him to understand what I had to do to achieve my goal, and more importantly, why I was doing it. And then last week, somewhat unsurprisingly, he suggested we stop seeing eachother. Incompatibility, lack of clicking, etc.
Even though it was pretty obvious this wasn’t going anywhere, I was still upset. I mean, a breakup is a breakup, right? But it’s starting to occur to me that 1. It would never have worked, and 2. I shouldn’t have to try so hard to get someone on my side. It’s not my job to fit into someone else’s mould. I keep bearing this quote in mind:
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To be honest, I’m still in the process of learning to love myself for the flawed and imperfect human I am. I don’t have the time or the energy to get someone else on board. That’s not to say I’m unwilling to adapt or make space in my life for someone; I just need someone who gets it, or at least tries. And so my new motto is to surround myself with people who get it. It just makes life so much easier.
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Lots of love,
Pippa
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10 thoughts on “Mindfulness: On surrounding yourself with people who get it

  1. Oh my dear, you hit the nail on the head with this post. I may just start venting in your space.

    First off, I am fortunate that my family and my husband, while not personally invested, really gets that this stuff is important to me. They take a genuine interest in all of this even though they have zero interest in running or fitness in general. They ask questions and are proud of my accomplishments. For this, I am so grateful.

    Through running, I have learned who my real people are. There are many people in my life who openly judge my lifestyle and my choices – the choice to go to bed early on a Friday or Saturday night so I can be up early to run the next day. The choice to make good dietary choices and eat healthy even though you wouldn’t look at me and call me overweight. I got pretty serious about running over the past two years, and in the process have cut out many people who don’t support me. I don’t mean support like wish me good luck before a race or come cheer me on or even asking me about running – I mean the ones who judge my choices. And your quote nails it – you either like me or you don’t!

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    1. Feel free to vent!

      I find it hard to strike a balance between living my own life and doing my own thing (like you say, the early nights and the healthy eating) with socializing and making sure I don’t get out of touch. At my current job there’s quite a socializing and drinking culture, which is great because everyone’s fun and likes to get on outside of work. So it’s a bit hard for me to order a diet coke and leave early if I’m training the next morning- I just try to make sure I have fun nights too with my colleagues, hopefully just working it around my schedule!

      But yeah, sometimes it is about letting people slide out of your life if they don’t get it. Or if they openly judge you, like you say. If someone were openly critical about my lifestyle, and not just jokingly ribbing me for my love of the sport, it would be a real issue!

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  2. Awww, sorry things didn’t work out. It is frustrating when someone doesn’t get it, but it’s even more frustrating when they don’t even make an effort to understand. There are a lot of things my friends and even my boyfriend are passionate about that I don’t really get, but, I at least understand that those things are important and meaningful to them just like running and other things are important to me.

    I don’t judge people too harshly for not “getting” running – we are a crazy bunch, after all, and I spent most of my own life not getting it. What bothers me is when people – like the guy you were seeing – don’t respect other people’s interests or passions just because they don’t mirror their own. Cheer up – eventually you will meet someone who will be okay with the fact that your life doesn’t revolve around them. 🙂

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    1. Yeah weirdly this post was kinda cathartic, cos it all just clicked one evening and I had to write it. It would never have worked out, and thankfully it wasn’t that serious. It made me appreciate what’s important to me, and what I look for in a partner, which is always a good thing. I 100% respect people who don’t run, or who’ve tried it and don’t like it, but as you say they have to at least try and respect that that’s what I’m passionate about. You can be into whatever extra-curriculars you want, I’ve got respect for that as long as you have the same respect for me! There’s always some gentle ribbing between me and my friends who are more into hitting the gym and lifting (especially as they think cardio kills your gains) but as long as we just agree that we have different goals and work in different ways, I don’t care! 😀

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  3. This post is spot-on! I’m super fortunate that my boyfriend understands that my triathlon stuff is important to me. Once you start training for longer distances, it becomes even more important to have your family and friends on board because training takes up so much of your time and energy. If your people aren’t a little bit invested in you achieving your goal, then they will probably be frustrated with your lack of time and energy instead of supportive.

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    1. Exactly! You need to have people who at least understand that you’re going through all these difficult challenges, and that you’re a bit emotionally and physically drained- but that you’re okay with that, and you actually weirdly need to go through all of that.

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  4. I love this! That’s actually one of the best things about my fiance – he encourages me to do things that I never thought I could do. And it’s not overt or verbal, I’ve just found that I’m a much better, more productive, more driven person when I’m with him. It’s weird, but it clicks.

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  5. im lucky my husband supports my crazy even if he doesnt always get it but my family is a totally different story. they think running long distances is bad for your body and no matter what i say they just dont get it. i know you will find a significant other that totally supports the crazy life of running!!

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    1. Oh no! My mum doesn’t get it at all, but i think since my win the other week she understands how important it is to me and in her own works that I’m “actually kinda good at it” lol. Luckily my dad was a runner in his day so he gets it, even though it’s taken a while for him to talk about it (I think he gets majorly jealous of me running now that he can’t!)

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