This morning I completed my first ever Xterra trail run.
By all accounts. I should’ve loved it.
What’s not to love?! The short course (which seemed like a good place to start), is 6km of uphill, through gorse, onto clay, down gravel, up again, down again, up again, down again and finally – when your spirit is destroyed – another 1km on the flat to the finish. Fun right?!
Weeellll… Actuallly… Not so much.
Perhaps I’m being a party pooper or perhaps I just don’t like being passed by a 10 year old, but I can’t say it was my best or my favourite run ever.
I can’t really put my finger on it. It wasn’t the 3km of steep uphill on treacherous clay. It wasn’t the gorse I seemed unable to avoid which gave my legs a good shredding. It wasn’t the bone grinding vertical downhill or the grassy slip and slide or the nearly assing it right over the side of a cliff or the up where there should have been down.
It wasn’t specifically any of those things.
I think my problem is that the millions of things I’ve signed up for – salsa dancing, hot yoga, hatha yoga, climbing and burlesque to name a few – are beginning to feel like a bit of a chore.
Once we got through the gauntlet of serious runners – who obviously missed the “We’re all here to have fun” briefing – and made it to the finish line, I turned to Jeff and said “Shall we sign up for the next one?”
Am I mad?! Seriously!? That’s crackers!
This got me thinking, how do you know when your new healthy lifestyle has gone too far?
I used to think that when my friends came over for dinner and said something like “Ooooohhh I see you’ve bought another cookbook dedicated to quinoa” that they were impressed with my enthusiasm for the superfood grain (it IS very versatile you know).
Upon reflection however, they may have actually been thinking “Oh god are we having quinoa in every dish again?!!”
So here are five signs to help you recognise when you’re enthusiasm has become maniacal obsession.
1. Your pantry is full of health foods, whole foods and supplements that you don’t know what do with… And it reflects in your bank account. I’m yet to find a recipe with Maca Powder that doesn’t actually taste like dirt. Maybe it’s supposed to taste like dirt?
2. You can’t attend a social occasion without first providing the host with a detailed description of what you can and can’t eat –
“I’m not eating orange coloured fruits and vegetables at the moment but I do eat green vegetables on Wednesdays and red fruits on Fridays. There’s only a couple more things: No wheat, dairy, yeast or soy. No fruit after lunch time, carbs after breakfast, protein before 5pm. I’m only eating foods which I have physically collected myself. Is this a problem? What time should we come round?”
3. Likewise, your social life is determined by when and where you have the next event you’ve signed up for –
“Mum, I would love to catch up with Aunty So-and-so and Cousin What’s-his-name, but I have a yoga retreat/ultra marathon/salsa competition/insert sporting event that I just cannot miss.”
4. You own industrial strength kitchen machinery for your blending, processing, mashing, mixing and general healthy food preparation which is worth as much as your car. Maybe more. I want to be buried with my cherry red Kitchenaid mixer… And blender… And food processor.
5. Your nicest clothes by far are exercise clothes. This makes it somewhat awkward when Jeff wants to take me out for a nice dinner of gluten free tacos and I ask if I can wear my yoga tights. Lululemon you have a lot of answer for.
Don’t get me wrong now. I love the healthy me. I really do. But sometimes it’s important when to know you need a break.
If you want to eat a Lindt chocolate bunny instead of your organic sugar-free date bar, that’s totally fine. If you want to lie on the couch for the weekend and watch a Breaking Bad marathon while drinking margaritas, do it. And enjoy it. Most importantly, enjoy it.
Enjoy the ride! x