About me

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Deep Self Reflection: "Amanda Style"

 The reason I say “Amanda Style” is b/c I am going to try to be as raw and open as I can be here. Even if it means that some of you think of me differently.  She is so good at that and it has helped me to have the courage to try it. This is really really hard for me to expose myself but I think it will help me. I have been going back and forth about posting any of this…

 First off, I am not going to lie. “Anonymous”, or “Ilsa” as she wrote me again yesterday under that name and then deleted it, has gotten under my skin. I pretend like it doesn’t affect me, but it does.

I have been thinking and thinking, b/c maybe there is something to what she says. So I have been pondering and reviewing myself under a microscope the last few days and here’s what I want to say.

I am an extremely SENSITIVE person. I am very emotional, I Love deeply and passionately. I fall in love easily and care for others with my whole heart, (once you capture it;)). I yearn for deep loving relationships with my family and my friends. I get hurt easily and am easily offended. Sometimes I hold a grudge if I’m really hurt. I want people to like me. I want to be loved in return.  

Do I like Praise? YES. Do I need it? I think I do. I know my love language is “Words of Affirmation” so perhaps this is why. I DO feel the most loved by people when they sincerely compliment me or give me praise. I would rather have a note from someone  expressing their thoughts and feelings to me and telling me how great they think I am than a million dollar present any day. It just makes me feel so good, happy  and again….LOVED. Is this wrong? Am I normal?.

But in return I ALSO  Love to compliment others. I am a builder. I always try to build others up and help them believe in themselves. That they can do ANYTHING they put their minds to. I encourage and uplift others in their goals and dreams as often as I can.  I try to motivate others. I tell my friends they are beautiful and that they are doing great in their accomplishments. I want others to feel GOOD about themselves. I suppose I share Love the same way I want to receive it in return. I need to learn my friends love languages and love them accordingly.

As a little girl, I was ALWAYS trying to get my mom and dad’s attention. (they divorced when I was 3yrs old).  I felt that if I impressed them, they would tell me how proud they were of me and THAT is how I felt loved.
However, the question I have been asking myself the last few days is WHY do I feel that I NEED Praise to feel good about myself? ….the person I want it from the most is my husband. I find myself asking him "Are you proud of me?" even when I know I won't get the answer I want and setting myself up to get hurt. WHY do I do that??!! He doesn’t really like that I run, it causes lots of arguments and disagreements and makes my heart ache like nothing else. 

Perhaps that is why I seek it from all of You. This blog is where I come when I need a boost. When I need to hear “you’re doing great!”, “ you CAN do this!”, “ you are an amazing runner!”. Yes it’s true. It makes me feel like I'm good enough. THIS is my support system right here. 

 Regardless, the conclusion I’ve come to is that I NEED to be okay with my successes and failures, REGARDLESS of whether anyone else tells me I did a great job or not. THAT is my challenge I guess-to Stop SEEKING outside praise, and BE OKAY with ME.  I don’t need to let everyone know why my run/race was slower than normal, or why it was SO great. I don’t need to explain these things. I can just be happy with them for what they are.  I need to be able to sit in quiet reverence and have the feeling of self achievement be ENOUGH. I am Enough.-This is what I need to work on.
This is so much easier said than done.

We all have weaknesses. These are mine I guess.  More challenging than they seem when I write them out here. This involves changing who I have always been.

So, Anonymous, THANK YOU! Thank you for helping me to reflect. You have not brought me down, or made me feel poorly as you probably hoped you would. You have brought me to a place of self reflection and from here I will be a better person for it. I am using your critical comments and nasty emails to be BETTER, b/c I am that kind of person. I will always pick myself back up. I will never give up or allow someone to steal my dreams. I am so FAR From perfect, but you don’t know me. You can’t judge me. You have never lived a moment in my shoes. You don’t know what it was like to grow up the way I did. I have already overcome so much and I will continue to do so.


  1. Man Nicole. This is a great post. Raw and Open-YES, but you surely have a way of making people "feel" and relate. Not many that truly wear their heart on their sleeve. I'm finding that you are quite an amazing woman through following your journey in life and running even from a distance. I took SO much from this.....

  2. This is an amazing post!!! You are a beautiful person and I love that you have not let others comments bring you down and instead you have become stronger. So thankful to know such an amazing person :)

  3. AMEN! You are amazing Nicole! I hope you can see even an inch of what we all do. A truly special woman with so much to share and offer us. I am so glad you wrote so freely and shared with us your heart. I am so much of what you wrote too and maybe thats why I have always felt so drawn to you (its so creepy this whole stranger love thing) but its true and honest and I wouldnt change it really for anything. I think for the first time in my life I feel acceptance and as hard as it is to accept its pretty wonderful too! I had a conversation this weekend as well that I dont know why I care so much what people do, but I do and I really need to hear that I mean something to them. Anyways, enough of me. Thank you for this post and please keep sharing your heart cause its something we all treasure!!!

    I hope you have the best week ever!

  4. don't we all look for affirmation through our blogs? That's the beauty of blogs.. We expand our network of like minded people who have interest in the same things and can relate on a personal level to our running succeeds and failures! Sure, my blog is for me, but I wouldn't enjoy writing as much if I didn't get feedback! There's nothing wrong with that!
    I'm new to your blog, but I say ignore anonymous comments.
    Not worth your attention. :)

  5. HI Nicole,
    I'm relatively new to following your blog. I wanted to let you know that you are an amazing athlete and friend. Your words inspire me to be a better runner and friend. Your blogs are filled with words of encouragement and praise for your friends.
    The thoughts you share of your running experiences help other NEW runners ( I fall into that similar category as you...no long history of running, instead a ballet background :) ), to gain more insight into the real running world.
    Thank you, for sharing without reservation, it is very much appreciated.
    I wish you continued success in your running career.

  6. Oh My! Wow! This was amazing Nicole! I have so much to say. So much. This was some hard work here. Hard reflection and going deep within yourself. I am so impressed with this. NOt only is is some BIG and amazing stuff that you have written about....so raw and beautiful and REAL but it is so well written. Wow! I am going to read it another 2 or 12 times and I'll be back. So far, my favorite line is:
    I am Enough
    This is so Honest! And SO True for not just you but others too. Thank you for sharing yourself Nicole. You have inspired me! And I'm certain you have inspired so many others. I'm kind of choked up here. Gosh, I love you. Thank you for coming into my life! So thankful for you!

  7. now you have all made me cry. This is what I mean. You make me feel loved and I can't control that THAT touches my heart. thank you. I am so thankful that this blog has helped me to learn more about who I am and who I WANT TO BE. You are all so special. thank you. thank you. thank you. I will sleep good tonight knowing I am changing from the inside out to be better and you have all played a roll in that for me. By sharing YOUR lives with ME, it has helped me search within myself to try and be better.

  8. Nicole,
    I did not deliberately delete my post on your previous post, I thought you did, but maybe I indeed pushed a wrong button. Not sure now did you read that post or not, I thought you did because you changed the text below the photo from Best Dam Run. Namely, I wrote in the deleted comment that pointing out next to the time that this was 8 weeks after coming back from injury is another example of saying "I could have been so much better".
    I wrote the now deleted post mainly because I wanted to tell you that I do not know you personally, so no need to be suspicious around your "friends". I read your blog because you are an excellent runner and even more because you have a very very complex personality. You talk about your personal issues sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, but they are very striking to me.
    You have all the right to write and think whatever you want. It depends on criteria, but you are certainly not an inexperienced runner who just started, but of course you are also not a runner with millions of miles and several years of working with a coach.
    And I have a right to have an opinion about your writing and about you. I comment rarely, but when I do, I do it because I feel there is something worth pointing out, even and especially if my opinion is different to all your loyal readers. I chose to do it anonymously for my private and privacy reasons. You choose to reveal yourself in the blogosphere, thank you for that, I do like reading and wondering about people.
    I do wish you well, and I am happy for you because you are not doing badly at all, and I think you are a fighter and I respect that. You manage to have quite a nice life, wonderful family, and doing things you like and are talented for. On the other hand, you seem you have some deep issues you are a prisoner of, like everyone else, you are an exception only because you reveal them consciously and subconsciously, and it seems you are troubled by them quite a lot - that's why I am intrigued reading your blog.
    Not sure if you believe me, but I do wish you well and it was not my intention to hurt you, although of course it is not a surprise that you were hurt by my comment. Maybe there is a way to say the same thing I wanted to say, I did not know how else to say it, so I said it bluntly. Because I thought it was worth to say it,
    Best, sincerely!

  9. I think some people are bored, careless, and jelous. Where we thrive on praise and positive thought some thrive on drama and negativity. It's sad I know so many people like that. People that Iove, but people that hurt. Don't take them seriously! You deserve praise, you are amazing. A mom, a wife, a runner, an entrpeneuer! Great post!

  10. I love how amazingly honest you were in this post. So many people would try to play it off and be like "Oh, I just post this stuff just to do it... I don't really care if people show support or not."
    I know for a fact that I feel better about my running if I just got a new positive comment on my blog. Sure, at the end of the day it is my training and ability that ultimately affect my running, but having that confidence boost really helps, and wanting to get those words of encouragement and affirmation is not a bad thing. And I definitely relate to how you described your personality.

  11. I will never understand why people are negative to others on blogs. It is one thing to develop a relationship with someone on a blog and through that friendship be able to give advice or comment in ways that might have tough topics but come from a place of friendship and caring. It's quite another thing to be anonymous and do that. I'm sorry someone chose you to pick on. However...YAY for you for tackling the topic and using it for good!

  12. Good to know the haters don't got you down. Your experience in this whole episode has me thinking more about my own motivations and others motivations for being a part of the running community - online and locally and how to use that to best communicate with others.

    The motivations you mentioned are perfectly human and virtuous. Everyone appreciates encouragement and your positive attitude is a good thing. Your blog weaves a good narrative of growth and challenges. I appreciate reading about your experience as a woman in a distant part of the country as it is far different from my own and covers topics I wouldn't even think about otherwise.

    For example I don't have creepers running up beside me to tell me I look good but it is good to know my wife could have the same trouble. You mentioned running and the stress it places on a relationship. If I can offer one criticism of runners as I have been guilty of it - sometimes running can alienate loved ones who are not as passionate about it and with good reason. My wife and I have struggled with how to best get in a good work out and spend time together. There are many great ways to fitness that don't include running and I now try to mix things up / get out of my comfort zone to include others even if it compromises a competitive training cycle. There are many creative ways to turn training into a more social inclusive experience.

    As always have fun on your journey.

  13. Hi Nicole,
    I don't care if you publish my comments or not, I wrote it for you and it is up to you do you even want to read it or not. However, I do find it funny how you claim in your "raw and open" post that I deleted my second comment. Even if I did, it was by mistake, but I believe you deleted it, just like you decided not to publish my third one that explains my position. It was not my intention to hurt you, but to achieve exactly what you are supposedly thanking me for. Best, sincerely.

  14. Wow Nicole what an awesome blog post. It just shows how amazing you are when you can take such negative comments and turn them into something positive and learn from them. You are not the only one that likes praise. I think as a natural human being we are all wanting to be loved. We are all seeking praise from each other because it just feels good when we receive compliments. I am so proud of you and all of your running accomplishments. Keep it up because this is what you love and what makes you happy. Love you.



  15. Ilsa,
    If you would like to know, I discovered the supposedly "deleted" comment today under the "spam" folder in comment moderation. I didn't know where it went. Please don't make me out to be lying thank you. I do not lie. Ever.
    AND I haven't yet decided whether to publish your other comments. I haven't quite figured out what they all mean or what your motivation for writing them are. I feel like the people who can offer me constructive criticism are those who
    1. Know me. (which you don't) and
    2. Love me (based on the fact you dont' know me, you surely can't love me).
    I find you very intriguing yourself. You ask me "Why I need to seek for constant praise?" , well in return, I ask you: "Why do you feel the need to seek people out, whom you don't know and pretend like you have the right to pick apart their personality and then act like you have authority to give me feedback on what you call my "deep rooted issues"? ".
    Perhaps you need to do some soul searching yourself? I can't figure out if you are a runner or not. If you have too much time on your hands? why are you so fascinated by my personality? I don't think I am that much different than any other blogger around me...but for some reason you have chose ME to try and talk to about this stuff to. It is sort of creepy to be honest. I am not sure what to make of you and honestly, not knowing you or anything about you, I am not going to try. You might be a completely legitimate person with no ill intentions or you might be a total crazy. Unfortunately, you didn’t really approach me in a manner that makes me want to get to know you further.

  16. Nicole- your post was written beautifully. :) Love you!

  17. Nicole,
    I must say I appreciate your response to my comment, and I do like you (even) more now.
    No problem if you don't want to know me further, there is no chance of that anyway. Even if we knew each other, we would never have much contacts, we are completely different. I do find you interesting, following your questions: I think because an important woman in my life has a shockingly similar personality as you. So maybe I would have more in common with your daughters :-))
    You claimed I deleted the comment, and I claimed that I did not, thank you. Not need for further nitpicking here, I am glad this was clarified.
    Yes, I am a runner. Almost as good as you, and almost as "new" as you :-))
    Take care, sincerely wishing you all the best!

  18. I think every runner feeds on words of affirmation to some extent. Sometimes it means more coming from people we may not know personally just because they actually KNOW what we are going through. Some of my closest friends have no idea what a sub 7 minute mile feels like or how many miles a marathon even is. When they tell me "good job" after a race it is very kind and I really do appreciate it but it means something different coming from people that DO speak the same running language.

    Thanks for opening up and sharing.

  19. I love the phrase "I am a builder" such a great concept and way to put compliments into action! I think you are a beautiful person inside and out and have only touched the surface of your running potential. Amazing. I continue to learn by reading your posts! Hugs!

  20. Love this post, Nicole! I felt like you were describing me as I read... Here's the thing though, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting words of affirmation. That is how you are made! That is your love language! There is no mistake there. I find myself writing my blog for myself, knowing that I'm not wanting to fish for compliments. Documenting my successes and failures so that I can look back on them and see where I was and how far I've come. THAT'S for me. No one else. But, when I do put it out there and get no comments, I start getting insecure... Satan is sure to pounce on me and bring me down. And then, I just need to remember, it is for ME. No one else. I think there's a difference between a "look at me!! look at me!!" blog and what I've seen on your blog. Granted, I just started reading it. But, there's an authenticity in your words and your heart shows through. There is nothing wrong with that. You ARE a builder and your blog inspires many. Keep on sharing! Keep on inspiring!

  21. I love you Nicole :) You are amazing, smart, beautiful, talented, driven and courageous. You have been this way since the day you were born. You inspire me and always have. Xoxo


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