“Identity Can’t Be Tied To An Outcome.”

(A quick and dirty life update: YOUR GIRL IS SICK. I can’t remember the last time I had a sore throat. Years, maybe? I eat healthy, exercise, drink lots of coffee water and mind my Ps and Qs. And so far that has saved me doctor visits and antibiotics. But I’m thinking the combination of rising and falling temps and thin mountain air are working against my immune system. Anyone else experience this? Thanks for listening to me whine. Now onto the post.)

Sometimes I wish I could record my thoughts when I’m running. I feel like I have about a million and each one is special and important, especially while listening to podcasts.

A couple weeks ago, during a big trail run, this fancy device seriously could’ve come in handy because I thought about something Devon Yanko said on a podcast interview with Tina Muir:

“IDENTITY CAN’T BE TIED TO AN OUTCOME.”

It’s pretty powerful, right? It took me a second. I rolled it around in my brain, thought through each word individually then put them all together at the end. Who you are and who you choose to be cannot and should not be attached to an outcome.

Since this magical and mythical thoughts recorder hasn’t been invented yet, and I didn’t have a pen and paper with me on the trails, I stopped and typed it out in Notes on my phone. It’s the only way I would remember what I heard and how I felt about it in the moment. Once I stop running, things evaporate. Kinda like waking up from a dream and instantly forgetting everything about it.

Devon is an ultra endurance athlete. And endurance athletes have addictive and sometimes all-or-nothing personalities. It’s just one of our redeeming qualities, and I definitely fall into this bucket. Why do something if it won’t be perfect or we can’t be the best at it? I’m working on changing that.

I shoved my phone back into my FlipBelt and kept running and thinking about what she said. It was a beautiful, sunshiney day in the 60s to think the deep thoughts.

“What is my identity?” I thought as I maneuvered over rocks and tree roots. It’s been awhile since I gave myself a title because all the things that make me me wouldn’t and couldn’t fit on a business card. 

Runner
Cyclist
Writer
Daughter
Sister
Friend
Hugger
High-fiver

I love all my identities but, like Devon said, tying any of them to an outcome is a set up for failure or disappointment because what happens if we never achieve that outcome? Are we less of a runner, cyclist, writer, daughter, sister, friend, hugger, high-fiver?

Follow me.

As someone who identifies as a runner, one of my pipe dreams was qualifying for Boston and even running on a post-collegiate team. I dreamed that big dream every day. I wanted to wear the finisher’s jacket loud and proud around the grocery store. I thought THEN I would be able to solidify my status as a runner and marathoner…until I developed Dystonia (which you can read about here.) Because of this condition, I’ll never go to Boston unless I’m cheering on the sidelines. But even though I can’t run that race or wear that medal or buy that jacket, it doesn’t mean I can’t still identify as a runner.

It’s the same with cycling. Even if I don’t stand on top of a podium or make it to the top of the mountain first or learn how to build a bike from the frame up, it doesn’t mean I’m not a cyclist. It just means I have work to do.

And that’s where goals come in.

GOALS should be tied to outcomes instead. Setting goals based on our identities is an awesome way of making progress, but doesn’t DEFINE who we are. Ya know?

One of my goals as a runner is to enjoy every run. It’s simple because for so long I forced myself to run when I didn’t want to simply because IT WAS MY IDENTITY.

One of my goals as a cyclist is to do more group riding and try cyclocross. I want to make more cycling friends up here in the mountains and try a new sport. I want to get my ass kicked while also seeing beautiful places with awesome people.

“IDENTITY CAN’T BE TIED TO AN OUTCOME.”

I think this is something we learn the hard way—and the long way and the experienced way. I would give this one a listen if you have the time; it is definitely one of my favorite episodes so far!

What’s one of your identities and what’s one of your goals based on that?

Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s