I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Friday, July 29, 2011

Goal or Purpose?

Goal - a desired result a person envisions, plans and commits to achieve... within a finite time by setting deadlines.
Purpose  - is a result, end, mean, aim, or goal of an action intentionally undertaken, whether or not the purpose was a primary or secondary effect.

Are these items the same, similar, or have different meaning? My vocabulary gets overwhelmed, because somewhere deep inside I see things as they feel and not described by words, yet along being translated from one language to another. Goal is the end result, but purpose is the reason...

Somewhere back in the Spring I had thought of a plan for my built-in summer break from running, yet keeping myself in shape and motivated, by getting trained for a Figure Show, the way my one girlfriend did it for a couple of her off-season stints. She succeeded by far and hugely. It is a great and worthy goal, it is challenging in terms of hard training - and surely comfort level, it coincided with my following the path of Paleo (as I can fit into family life) weight loss along with "run a bit less and do other things to keep myself fit and healthy", and I received a gift from my father for a sum of money I could spend on things not budgeted. So, I spent big part of it on a couple of Personal Trainers and got on a program (being injured kept me super-motivated to stick to the diet and routine).

For 2 months (sans 10 days vacation in San Juan mountains, although the eating plan was followed pretty closely to "must do") I stuck with it. Last 2 weeks I started running...I missed it, I loved it, and, to my relief and what I thought anyway, the scale budged even more. My body changed. My fat dropped from 19% on May 30th to below 13% in these 2 months (10 days of which was spent not training precisely) - 6% difference (more measuring coming on Tuesday), while weight as a number lowered by only 5 lbs (building muscle is one of the goals on the path). I had never being that low in body fat in my life. The clothes are falling off, and I do enjoy looking in the mirror (so much that I actually do look into it as opposed to more normal to me not even glancing in). I am well within reach...

And then we had to start practicing posing, and thinking about swimsuits and high heels. And the wheels came off. This is not me. I don't wear heels. I own a pair of shoes with 2 inches heel on which I can only walk to the car and back - 5 inches heel seems unimaginable. I like the fact that at almost 42 I look fit, but wearing swimsuit that leaves nothing to imagination scares me breathless (and I am from Europe, so shame/shyness/prude is not something I practice on regular basis). And being judged by a bunch of strangers on the way I spread my shoulders - not on the way how far I had come, the size of my muscle, or any other measurable result of hard work - is just not my nature, very scary and uncomfortable (and I suck at posing). And then - there is that part of more money. I paid for 3 months. Due to schedule changes, the show that originally was supposed to be September 3rd, moved to October 1st. Extra month of trainers. Cost of suit and shoes. Show fees. Tan spray and professional make up. Hotel stay...I can't justify it, neither to me, nor to my family (even if they are always on board if I am happy). But this is where the caveat is. I am not happy. I am not happy because I started running, which brings me joy, and I have to still fit in all those "other" things, and while I could swing it all last 2 weeks with great results, those were last 2 weeks I had no Stephen home and could feel less responsible for doing (or not) other things - and yet still feeling guilty. I am very traditional when it comes to a gender role in a family. Not doing all of my "duties" to the extend I feel I have to (I am my own worst judge) throws me bonkers. I have a full time job, which with all this double-training had become even less enjoyable and somewhat less productive (surprised I had good results despite not putting my soul in it), and I have a part-time business. I am only human, and run only on 24 hr a day (6 of which I try to sleep, somehow, if I can squeeze in that many)...I am tired, and I am simply bored, having a goal that does not thrill me. Nothing's wrong with weight training - I had been doing it even longer than running. Only with weight training as a single mean in its end for me.

A couple of weeks ago one friend of mine had a little bit of a breakdown while deciding a very important (to this friend) religious matter. I am not religious by any means, and surely not the same as my friend is. I wasn't giving advice. I was simply contemplating while listening to a story. "If you are not sure of your reasons now, then don't" I said. How true. Apparently, this helped my friend the most.

We need to know the reasons, and to be content within our hearts. We don't do things to impress others or prove anything to anyone. What matters is what makes you feel right - and those around you happy, for you and with you. Sometimes I need to listen to my own advice:)

I still have a month to go that is paid for. I will give it all I have, just as I always do. Shh, don't tell my trainers, I want them to continue kicking my ass every time to see just how far I can get. I learned a great deal about food and my body reacting to certain types of it. I acquired a huge knowledge of body building (far superior than when got certified as a personal trainer myself, ha!). I will chuck this experience as a very necessary for me at that stage of my life. I will use it for life. And then I will move on to the things that excite me to no end - like dreaming about my next mountain race, visiting friends, serving fresh dinner and sharing it with family (although not eating grains, but at least sitting down together), spending money when budgeting trips away (away from Texas heat, from work, from every-day life...), and using all this information to keep my body to as close of a shape as where I am now (or will be in another 4 weeks) - that'd be a REAL challenge. Now that I know everything is possible, I'll take it as a purpose for my journey, while a goal...well, consider I am about to fail the end result. Stage freight is my enemy, always had been. If the goal was to "show off" - bummer. If the purpose behind that goal was to get in best possible shape - I am on cloud 9. I may still change my mind, I am entitled, and I reserve the right to retract any statement:) Occasionally, I give up on things, in order to gain perspective on what's important.
...or inspiring.
Like this one.
Or this.
A woman who is set to beat an overall AT trhough-hike record. Almost there now.
And a woman who had just finished completely self-supported crossing of Death Valley.
Occasionally, I move on ahead, for myself.


Chris said...

I love the new format Olga. I can certainly feel your pain without mountains. Having grown up in the Appalachian Mountains I can't stand to be where it is flat. Austin was nice for me but finding that solace and peace you get in the mountains is missing. I have always said that mountains are mystery. I wonder what is over that ridge? I wonder how long it would take to climb that? Love ya!

Thomas Bussiere said...

You are one of the most determined and dedicated individual I've been fortunate to read about and follow. Not to mention very talented. I've never seen you back down from anything, but have seen you attack when everyone else is just surviving. Go after this with the same mentality you have the last 20 miles and you will overcome. We believe you can do this also, and with a smile.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, there is a reason you also read Ronda's blog. Whom I talked to yesterday, shortly after I wrote the post. Because once I did, the pressure came off. And I realized I am pretty darn smart and definitely should listen to my own advice. "If you are not sure of your reasons now, then don't". I needed to find a right reason - for me. Which happened to come out clear while I was playing with words on computer for the blog, contemplating. I don't stop mid-way. You got that correct. My reason? To not give up when I am scared, to overcome, to NOT care about who judges what, but for why I do it.
Thanks, Thomas, and thanks, Ronda.

Thomas Bussiere said...

Now that is the Olga I know.

Anonymous said...

Finish it! No matter what the outcome there are a couple of things that are given. First, you will push through the barrier of the unknown and uncomfortable. Second, you will emerge with greater confidence.

Oh, and the other minor given, a rockin physique, stronger and better strength for running...not to mention less injuries.
Keep it up!


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