Saturday, November 17, 2012


Day 17 - My Strengths and Weaknesses

I kind of love this topic because I love making lists. And lists about myself? Double love. I think I'm going to make the strengths and weaknesses pretty general, and relate them to health and fitness where it makes sense.

And my weaknesses are not going to be job-interview-style know, things like, "I'm too much of a perfectionist." Actually, that one is pretty interesting as it used to apply to me but probably doesn't anymore. I think I used to be a perfectionist and want everything just so. Now in my middle age I am much more satisfied with good enough. Maybe it's because, being out of school, performance is no longer measured by grades, just results. Just get 'er done.

Okay, here we go. I'll start with the positive.


*I am an optimist. Seriously, I am a glass half full person and I pretty much expect things to turn out okay most of the time. This is in contrast to my mother who always expects the worst. "Turn out okay" are the key words here. I am not unrealistic. I don't expect things to turn out great all the time. but not ending in disaster? I'm all over that.

-->Health and fitness connection - I think my optimism is what gets me through all the marathons and races I do. As I said, I'm a realist (perhaps another strength), and I don't expect a PR every time (or ever, these days--perhaps a hint of pessimism there), but I am confident I'll get through it and pretty sure it will be in a way that's okay to me.

*I am easy going. I get along with most people, I don't anger easily (although I do get ticked off now and then), and I don't hold a grudge.

*I love vegetables and eat lots of them. This is a strength, right? Eating healthily must be much harder for people who don't like broccoli.

*I have very good taste. Believe me, I do. Life is much better when you have the ability to discern between what is nice and what is tacky. And how to use a touch of tacky to make "nice" more interesting.

*I am smart. Or intelligent, whatever you want to call it. I did well in school and I'm good at academic stuff. This makes life easier, especially when you are a little bit lazy (see weaknesses). And yes, you do use algebra in the real world. You don't use calculus, though. You probably could, but that would require remembering how it works, which I don't.

-->Health and fitness connection - ever tried to figure out how fast you would have to run to finish a race or run in a certain time? Ever tried to figure it out mid-race, when pulling out a calculator would be awkward? I rest my case. (This applies to the math element, not so much general academic ability.)

*I am a reader. Is this a strength? I think so. Reading adds such a richness to life. It is a pretty cheap form of entertainment, and can fill as much or little time as I wish. Reading makes me a more rounded, informed person.

-->Health and fitness connection - well, there are a lot of diet and exercise manuals and memoirs out there, and I've read most of them!

*I am kind-hearted. I care about people and try to help them when I can.


*I am lazy. Yes, I really am. I am trying to reconcile that with the running and exercise thing. Perhaps I am lazy except when I am running or working out? I like to be active. I like to walk and bicycle and do active things besides running. But I am terrible about activities that are not fun. I don't like to clean house, or do difficult yard work, and I like to park close to the entrance of a store. After a weekend long run I spend most of the rest of the day sitting around reading (or blogging or watching TV or movies). And one of my running goals is to improve so that my target paces feel easy. Yes...I am lazy.

*I procrastinate. This is probably a sub-category of lazy. I put things off until they absolutely need to be done...then I wait a little longer. Examples, bill-paying, cleaning (see above), anything I find unappealing I wait as long as possible to do.

-->Health and fitness connection - actually, this is one category where I don't procrastinate too much. Can you imagine if I waited until the very last minute to train for a marathon? Disaster. But I do procrastinate over getting up in the morning to run (contributing to my lateness issues). And I have seriously procrastinated over some fitness goals...getting back to weight training (six years since I've done it regularly), resuming yoga after my summer break (only a few months, but I haven't started yet), signing up for some personal trainer sessions (I've been thinking about it for a few years, but haven't figured it out yet).

*I am persistently late getting places when I have things to do beforehand. This means, mostly, getting to work a little late And after lunch. So twice a day. Sometimes three times if I have mid-day meetings.

Before I try to explain myself, let me add that I am never late to races (except for a couple of incidents with traffic). I always plan to be there really, really, early and the only thing I have to do before I leave is get dressed and grab my gear (all of which I laid out the night before). And I almost always over-estimate the amount of time it will take to get to the location.

With everything else, the exact opposite is true. On workdays, I always run or work out before I leave for work, and since I struggle getting up, I have less time than I need to run my planned distance. So I might cut the distance, but I still inevitably run a little further than I have time for. And I have to stop at Starbucks for coffee and a wrap on the way home. I get ready super fast, but drying my hair takes some time, and throwing my clothes on. Then I always underestimate how long it takes to drive to work (I live less than two miles away!), park, and get through security into the building. During the day I am dragged down by eating lunch, phone calls, people who need to talk to me, and again the amount of time it takes to drive short distances and park. It makes me tired just writing about it all.

-->Health and fitness connection - well, obviously, health and fitness makes me late to work. So, obviously I need to stop...going to work. Just kidding!

*I am a sucker for sweets. Cakes, cookies and candy are definitely a weakness for me. I think I manage it pretty well, but I would probably be better off eliminating sugar from my life entirely. Probably not gonna happen (entirely), no matter how many times I announcing that I am eschewing all sweets.

-->Health and fitness connection - I think this one speaks for itself.

*I am messy. I accumulate clutter. I am a poor (and lazy) housekeeper. I am a borderline hoarder, but what I hoard is clothes (too many), shoes (too many), running and exercise clothes and gear, BOOKS, mail that I haven't purged or somehow organize if I need to keep it. By hoard I mean I have a hard time getting rid of stuff and seem to be unable to store it in an organized fashion.

-->Health and fitness connection - My mother thinks I would be a better runner and lose weight if I purged excess possessions and cleaned up my life. She may be right.

*I shop too much and spend too much money on things. (Not individual things necessarily, but the collective "things" that I shop for.) Obviously this also contributes to the clutter and excessive stuff in my life. Sadly, there are many things I've bought that I have never even used (yet), or removed the tags and packaging from (yet). Some of the stuff will probably be given away or donated brand new. Which would be fine, if I just got my act together and did it (and/or got rid of old stuff to incorporate the new).

-->Health and fitness connection - Well, a lot of my shopping is for running clothes and running shoes. I have one brand new pair of Asics Kayano 18 that I will probably break out for the Honolulu Marathon. I have three pairs of the new Kayano 19 that I have designated my 2013 shoes. No. More. Running. Shoes. Right? Right?

*I have self proclaimed adult ADD. My concentration tends to flit from one thing to the next. Then, thanks to my middle-aged induced memory problems, I forget what I was doing before I got distracted. As a variation on this, I tend to need at least two activities going at one time. TV and blog/magazine/book reading (if I want to pay closer attention to the show, I play Bookworm on my iPad). Running and music or audiobook. Elliptical and TV with earphones plus blog reading (I need multiple distractions on the elliptical). It's a wonder I can sit through a movie in a theatre (it helps that it is dark, and if the movie is good...otherwise I fall asleep).

*I am obsessive. What I do, I overdo. Sometimes in a positive way (running and exercise), sometimes in a fairly negative way (food). Shopping, clothes, books, see above. I am pretty sure if I could manage to get myself hooked on house cleaning, I would overdo it. (What, you don't think so?) I must add that I manage my obsessiveness pretty well. Obviously I am not an over-exerciser, but I am obsessed enough to do it faithfully and adhere to a training plan. I have transfered most of my food obsessiveness to vegetables, and I have never been a binge eater, just an overeater. I spend too much money, but I am financially stable.

I think that pretty much covers it for the major weaknesses in my life. I don't think any one of them can be called a strength in disguise. (Although I don't mind the multi-tasking. The ADD tendencies and memory loss can be irritating, though.) The quality of my life would definitely improve by improving some or all of these weaknesses. It's in the works.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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