According to vocabulary.com, “A self-deprecating person knows her own weaknesses and shortcomings and isn’t afraid to point them out, often in a humorous way.”
Does that sound like anybody we know?
The opposite of arrogant or boastful, AGMA has a brutal understanding of her weaknesses and shortcomings and, sometimes, it makes for some funny stuff. But I couldn’t always laugh at it.
Like a kazillion other people of a certain age, I grew up with a ginormous lack of self-esteem. The reasons are long and messy and complicated, and would be TMI. Let’s just say that it wasn’t because I didn’t get participation trophy for playing kickball. Or that my mom didn’t praise me enough for cleaning my room.
I often wonder how my life would have turned out had I not, early on in my life, always bought in, hook, line and sinker, to the vile little voice in my head feeding me lines of total bull crap. “You’re not important.” “Nobody really cares about you because, I mean, why would they? You have no redeeming value.” “Good things don’t happen to you because you don’t deserve it.” “You’re a nobody.” “You’re worthless.”
*uck you, little voice!!
Years of on and off counseling, a renewal of my faith and becoming a mom (of all things!) helped me strangle out those voices. And they’re almost gone. Almost. Sometimes, in certain situations, they actually catch my ear for a while before I replace the silencing pin in my Mattel Nasty Voice Voodoo Doll (pins sold separately.)
The lemonade is that you, as the ancient Greeks admonished, “Know Thyself”. Utterly and completely. You know your strengths and weaknesses. You develop a self-awareness and a lack of ego-driven motives. Most of the time.
AGMA prides herself on the lack of an overblown ego. Is that an oxymoron? She pities those who are motivated to only make love to their own ego. So much terrible damage happens to individuals when egos run amuck. And to families and communities. And to nations and the world.
That’s why, today, I’m deeply ashamed. I’m not as self-actualized as I non-humbly, pridefully thought. My ego reared it’s ugly head. It got the best of me when I wasn’t looking. Or maybe I saw it and just looked the other way.
I got a running injury in March. I was trying to get a good qualifying time for this year’s Peachtree Road Race. The PRR happens every year in Altanta, GA on the 4th of July, and is the largest timed 10K race in the world. The world. 60,000 people. It’s pretty cool…
Last year, because it was my first Peachtree, I was stuck starting waaaay in the back of the pack. Like the people who started first were already home, showered and napping when I crossed the start line. Just a smidge of a bruising to the running ego that I deny exists.
PRR runners need a good qualifying time to be closer to the front of the pack. I was determined to get that good qualifying time for 2015.
AGMA has now learned – the hard way – that when you’re over 60 and three weeks out of running your very first marathon, running at your top speed at a 10K (6.2 miles) qualifying run isn’t such a great idea. Duh… It just seems so obvious to me…now.
Damn that hindsight thing.
Oh – I DID get a great qualifying time. I ran the fastest for 6.2 miles I’ve ever run. And in the process, screwed up my calf. Crap. Even after a five week rest in the Spring, it’s progressively gotten worse as I’ve trained on it.
Bad move to run on it when it kinda hurts and you are limping for the first three miles of every run. Again, separate out the ego that I deny, and it just seems so glaringly obvious that I should not have been running so hard…now.
The final blow was a 12 mile run on Saturday. What the hell is wrong with me? Don’t answer that… I now have a full blown case of shin splints. And I’m thinking that I might possibly have a hairline fracture in my tibia. Perfect.
So, in an incredibly ironic and totally yin-yang twist of ego-maniacal fate, I won’t be able to run The Peachtree on Saturday. In some weird, twisted way, I find that kinda funny.
You have much yet to learn Grasshopper.
One of the great benefits of getting older is that it gives you perspective. Lots of perspective. If this is the worst thing that happens this week or month or year, I’m doing great! My calf will eventually heal and I will be a wiser runner for it. Right? Maybe.
Hope springs eternal…
Happy 4th U.S.A.!