Friday, November 2, 2012

I am Not a Brain Scientist, I am a Blogger

in case you were wondering

I'm no brain scientist, just in case there was any question.  Is that even a real thing, a brain scientist?  Spell check had to correct my spelling of the word scientist just now.  My blog is called Running for Dummies.  You get my point.

While I often joke about being a dummy, I actually think I am a relatively smart person (even without that Brain Science degree).  Maybe it's true, or maybe it is just the years of self-esteem my parents bestowed upon me.  If someone tells you that you are smart for 38 odd years, do you start to believe it? Even if you really are a dummy? This is exactly my point.

The human brain is strange.  I actually think it tries to work against us most of the time.  My mother taught me a long time ago that I didn't have to believe every thought that crossed my mind.  This was an important lesson that has helped me tremendously in life.  Our thoughts lie.

They tell us we are not good enough.
They tell us we are not smart enough.
They tell us we would rather be comfortable than push ourselves.
They tell us to coast through life.
They tell us to take the easy way out.
They tell us it is too hard, we might as well give up.

Why are our thoughts so self-sabotaging?  I don't know.  I already explained to you that I wasn't a brain scientist, just a blogger who may only be gifted according to her mother.

Sometimes I really have to battle myself to think clearly, to remember the truth, and not believe the negative lies that float between my ears.   Some of the things I am struggling with mentally right now:

I almost quit CrossFit.  Why?  I told myself it was mainly because I really struggle with the social aspect of CrossFit.  This is true.  I am not a very social person.  The community aspect of the sport does not appeal to me, like it does to so many others.  I prefer to work out alone or with very close friends.  But is that the real reason I stopped going, or am I letting my mind win?  Am I being totally honest with myself?

I sometimes wonder if I will I ever be able to perform a snatch with proper form and such fluidity that I will be able to do it using an actual weighted bar, rather than a PVC pipe.  After a few awkward frustrating attempts,  my brain tells me no.   It tells me I am too weak and uncoordinated.  It tells me I should quit.

Will I ever be able to do anything but hang straight armed from that pull up bar? I try to pull up, but somehow I am still just hanging there, feet dangling in the wind.  My brain says, no way.  My brain says, you are embarrassing yourself, why even try?  You could never do that.  Give-up.    

Since I already know I can’t trust that pesky brain of mine, I try to ignore all that and push forward anyway.  But I almost didn't.  If it wasn't for my awesome friend Amber nudging me in the right direction, I just might have never stepped in that Cross Fit box again, letting myself off the hook with the social excuse.  I almost let my brain win.  Maybe I do need that community of people to help me after all.  I got this!

My Personal Training Certification:
As you might know, after a (too) long period of wasted time, I finally figured out that self-study was absolutely not working for me so I signed up an nine week online course.  The first week was great.  I read the material, did the assignments, watched the online video's, memorized a few things, and ultimately aced my first online quiz.  I was feeling like quite the smarty until I started to read the text for week 2.  Anatomy.  Am I studying to become a Doctor or a personal trainer?  Dr. Dummy Lea has a nice ring.

I didn't realize I had to know Latin in order to grasp the material.   I was overwhelmed and frustrated with the shear volume of material to memorize in one week.  How am I going to memorize all this when I can't even pronounce it? How can I learn something that I don't understand. When will I find the time?  I started to ask myself why I was putting all this pressure on myself?  Maybe I should just quit now, I'm probably going to fail anyway, why waste my time?  This is too hard.

Then I remembered that I don't have to listen to those lying thoughts.  I have to suck it up and think positive.  I am a relatively smart lady, just ask my mom.  Millions of people have this certification.  Am I dumber than millions of people? Well, probably, but that is besides the point.  This is nine short weeks of my life.  All that I can do is dive in head first and give it all I have.  If I come up short, I'll have to try even harder next time.  I got this!

My First Full Marathon:
I have ran 6 half marathons and running my 7th next week-end.  I ran a half-ultra once.  I have been running regularly for about 10 years and have been thinking about running a full for at least the last few years.  Why haven't I ever done one?  My brain can't wrap itself around running 26.2 miles.  When I mentioned to someone that I couldn't run a full, because the most miles I ever ran at one time was 16, he responded, "you were only four miles away from completing full marathon training, what's the problem?"  Since a majority of full marathon training programs end at 20 miles, I've always been closer than I thought.  This positive spin on my training suddenly made it all a little more attainable.  I try to remember to back when I thought a 10k was daunting, or when a half marathon seemed impossible.  It is only impossible if you don't try.  So in February of 2013 I am going to give it a try.  My first full marathon will be the Surf City in Huntington Beach, CA.  I got this!

I really believe that you are what you think.  Think positive, act positive, and you will get positive results.  Think negative, act negative and you will get negative results.  You either think you can, or you think you can’t.  Either way you are right.  I stole that little piece of brilliance from Pinterest, because after all, I couldn't come up with something like that on my own.  I am not a brain scientist, just a blogger.  

I just need to remember to take my own advice.  How about you?  Do you ever let your brain win?  How do you overcome?

Keep Running,


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photo credit: Adam Crowe via photopin cc


  1. Somehow, my mind wins more often than not. It's annoying and something I have to touch base with every day. It's tough!! You've got really great advice here though.

  2. ok wow, we totally wrote the same post today, just different classes!! Let's kill these thoughts Lea! I am having a hard time with it, but I know we can! Then, we can live to tell about it and encourage others.

  3. Ugh, I struggle with this all the time! I felt the same way about my pt studies. All the big words and such, but I just tell myself that I was a great student when I was younger, and I can do it again. You got this girl, you can do it! Never tried Crossfit, probably for the reasons you are struggling with it. At least you are brave enough to try:)

  4. Yes I struggle with this all the time my brain says I can't. During my half marathon I had times where I told myself I could then moments that my brain said no. I think you could totally do a full marathon!

  5. Wow, I just wrote a similar post, must be something in the air lately! I struggle too!

  6. YES! Positive self talk is so important. And keep focussing on the positive.

    Great post, Lea. You are NO dummy!

  7. Oh, this is a great post! Trust me, everyone has their moment of negativity spinning in their heads! I suffer from that ALL the time whether it's public speaking (giving a speech, ugh!), trying a new sport (been wanting to try Crossfit for a long time), new people, taking a test (remember the driving test anyone??), etc., etc. I learned to tell my negative self to shut the hell up and start saying positive affirmatives to myself (I can do this, I KNOW I can do this!). And please listen to your mother, you are a smart and great human being. Look at all your accomplishments on this blog! Smile and have a great day :)


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