1. Accepting myself as "athletic" teaches me about Possibility. Although I don't know anyone who would use the word "athletic" to describe me in ten words or less, I am athletic. It is a one of a million qualities I and all people possess. There is no need to block certain good qualities out of our perceptions of ourselves. It is not healthy for our growth to state, point-blank, "I am not creative or graceful or patient." Of course you are. In your way.
2. Understanding what "athletic" means to me helps me destroy the unnecessary world belief of Polarization. Almost anytime we say, "You're either _______, or you're not," we accept horrible strict and unlivable standards. Polarization ruins things from people's willingness to accept music or moves outside of of their taste ranges ( "I do/don't like romantic comedies") to making people who are widowed/single as though they are inherently left out of a clearly-drawn club. Are you or are you not athletic? It is not really answerable. I am a reflection of the things I do which can be categorized as "athletic" to me.
3. I am challenging myself to conquer fear every time my weekly mileage increases.
4. I get to work towards accomplishing a concrete goal and support myself mentally and spiritually throughout the process.
5. Food is no longer solely an emotional friend and a physical enemy. Food is a partner in crime, fueling me for the things I must do.
6. By keeping myself/mind occupied during these long runs, I am learning a new Patience. This new patience is helping me feel clear and calm more frequently.
7. Sometimes I fall short of my training goals. I am learning when to give in to the right thing and overcome my will to shove through arbitrary goals.
8. Setting aside time to train teaches me Organization and Prioritization--two things I know well--but it's a different story when a priority outside my jobs and key hobbies demands more and more time every week.
I wrote this to help myself feel good about my 18-miler today. Tapering begins in March! I'm almost there.