H is for Have…patience.

Welcome back to my breakdown of my Healthy Living Alphabet! If you’re just tuning in, be sure to check out my posts on Attitude,Believing, Commitment, Envy, Educating yourself, Finding support and setting Goals.

Patience is a virtue. And one that I definitely do not possess in large quantities. Some days, it takes nothing at all for my patience thread to snap.  I am especially patience-challenged when it comes to training or trying something new.

When I started running, I wanted to run fast, far and free. Instead, I ran for about 30 seconds, and nearly passed out from lack of oxygen. It was not one of my most inspiring moments. Similarly, in my quest to learn how to swim, I’m about 4 months into my lessons and I can still only swim 2 laps without needing a break to catch my breath.

There have been many times in both quests that I have wanted to quit because I wasn’t improving fast enough, running far enough, swimming well enough. I get frustrated, not only because of my perfectionistic overachieving attitude, but because I would compare myself to others. I’d be out running, barely upright wondering if I was going to make it home and I’d see other runners who looked fast, fit, and barely breaking a sweat. I’d feel defeated, like I’d never be them.

Bring on the pity party.

My problem isn’t that I can’t do what I set out to do, it’s that I expect perfection right away and that’s not realistic. For all I know, these runners or swimmers have been doing it for years, training consistently and very likely started out the winded, sweaty mess like I did!

Want proof?

June 7, 2009, I ran 21.1km in 2:23 in a training run with my husband riding a bike beside me. A far cry from the girl who could barely run 30 seconds.

Want more proof?

I may not be able to swim more than 2 laps without stopping for a break but I can still push through 40 laps in under an hour, breaks included. Day 1 of swimming, all I could do was float.


Slow and steady. Change isn’t going to happen overnight but it will happen if you’re consistent and committed.

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Stephanie is a Canadian Mom of 3, Runner, Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Christ-follower and all around reeker of awesomeness. When she's not chasing after her kids, you can find her dreaming big dreams and bringing them to life.

2 Responses to H is for Have…patience.

  1. that is one of my biggest issues. Not seeing results quick enough or having to wait for something. Currently I’m waiting for my phone to ring, I keep checking it even though it hasn’t rung. I have patience when it comes to my kids but nothing else in life. I want everything to speed up. Looking in the mirror I wish I could walk up and just see the tummy gone, I know in reality it will take time but I must admit I feel defeat some mornings when I look at myself and see the flab. But I keep on going as I know eventually it will, but it does get frustrating. Congrats on your running!

  2. I love your honesty! We all struggle with our patience, especially when it comes to the goals we have set out for our fitness plans. One thing that has worked for me is (as cheesy as it sounds) positive self talk during a workout. The moment you start beating yourself up mentally—recognize it and put a stop to it by repeating that you CAN do this and that you ARE doing this and tell yourself you’ve tackled all kinds of obstacles and are a fit person. Say that over and over during those tough moments. Our thoughts have so much power, especially when you’re using your muscles and body during hard physical activity. Keep up the great work. Swimming that many laps in under an hour–breaks or no breaks—is awesome!!!!:)

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