life is not a marathon – it’s a relay

life is not a marathon – it’s a relay

[begging for intervals of rest + recalibration]

I love to work hard.

And I [used to] live to work hard.

Early on in my career as an athlete [and then of course my career as a dietitian] I believed and preached that working hard all. the. time. is the only way to be successful.

“Life is a marathon” I would tell myself as I burned the candle at both ends.

It wasn’t until I broke that I felt what it was like to be a relay member… and I’m going to be honest with you: I’m forever convinced now that we are designed to be relay members.

We are designed for rest.

We are designed for recalibration.

But we’ve got to reclaim both as our rights.

What does being a relay member in life entail?

It entails the word no. It entails time of reflection. And most importantly, it entails a time of “wintering.”

When we race hard and then step back to evaluate our triumphs and our tribulations, we are more prepared than ever to run the next segment of the relay, whatever it looks like.

Otherwise, we make the same mistakes time and time again, we burn out, and we fall prey to deep anxiety and fatigue [elongating the marathon endlessly].

What would it look like for you [before we even tiptoe into 2021], to drop the marathon and pick up the relay baton?

What does reflection + rest + recalibration [and “wintering” entail in a climate like this?].

Here, I have a few ideas for you!

Some of my favorite ways to rest between “relay segments” are:

  • turn off your phone for 1 hour every day [completely off]
  • retreat into silence each morning focusing on breath and stillness
  • recalibrate between meetings or obligations with your favorite cup of tea in hand
  • give yourself permission to feel all the feels from the day [sit with them / journal them / honor them]
  • delegate [where can you lean on another relay member?]
  • collect your memories from the day by putting pen to paper [at the end of the week reflect on them – this is your memoir]

It’s tempting with all the subtle messaging we are given daily to become a marathon monkey. What would it look like to rest, to recalibrate and to feel? What would it look like to pass the baton?

As we celebrate these final two weeks of 2020, I urge you to consider dropping out of the marathon and entering into a relay with me. As a community of nourished women, we can encourage each other by normalizing the need for rest.

It’s countercultural I know- yet relays are eternally more sustainable.

I’m in.

Are you?

Ellie

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