Yesterday I traveled with my family to Maryland to attend my Great Grandma’s 100th birthday party. There were easily 200 people there (!!!) so unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to ask her my BIG question… “What does it take to live to 100?”
Knowing Memaw, she probably would have chuckled and said, “good luck, I guess.”
I have my own ideas, too. Luck is certainly a factor. Genetics probably play a role. But if I had to guess, of the things that she could control, I think the most likely reason she’s lived to see 100 is her attitude. As long as I’ve known her – 32 years. I guess she was 68 when I was born. That’s a sort of crazy thought – anyway, Memaw never took herself too seriously. In 32 years, I can’t say oven seen her stressed or worked up. The most upset I’ve seen her is when I refused seconds at the dinner table. She’s pretty relaxed and she loves to laugh. She didn’t exercise or eat particularly healthy (though she did grow and eat her own food for the majority of her life). Memaw was a farmer (or perhaps you say a farmer’s wife?). Either way, money was tight. She lived through the depression. And over 100 years, a lot has changed. She could have very easily turned into a “get off my lawn!” “Damn kids!” type of old person. Nope! Not her.
So, yes, if I had to guess, its her attitude that has gotten her this far… and probably also the reason why so many people came to her birthday party!!
When we are training it’s easy to get caught up in what we ‘should’ be doing – what’s in our plan or what our friends are doing – and beat ourselves up if we don’t execute perfectly.
I experienced this yesterday. 8 hours in the car with two toddlers who suffer from motion sickness, 4 hours at a party, 1 hour to get and return the rental car, plus getting the kids ready… I planned to run when we got home, but it was 10pm, I had an early morning workout planned today, and we lost an hour last night due to daylight saving time so, I skipped it.
My tendency is to always stress out when I miss a workout. I usually feel like I’m falling behind. Sometimes I start to doubt my commitment level. Seriously, missing workouts to me can feel like a big deal.
But, the truth is, training isn’t always the top priority. Sometimes going to see your family takes priority… or caring for a sick child or work. And you can’t predict or control most of what’s going to happen in life, which means that we do ourselves a pretty large disservice if we berate ourselves over our choices.
So, my sage advice, taken from the example of my 100-year-old Great Grandma is to relax a little, do your best, smile, and keep moving forward.