October 7, 2015

California Kim

This post has been brewing for seven months. I never wrote about it because after exhaustive discussions with friends and my therapist, I figured it out. So when it crept back up recently, I thought writing about it would bring clarity and remind me of what I figured out all those months ago. Here goes.

When John and I were in LA for the Grammys back in February, we talked about moving there. We came close to doing it, but ultimately decided to stay put. I was crushed. I had already moved there in my mind and had created a whole new persona called "California Kim". I went on and on about how sick I was of "Tennessee Kim" and how I couldn't wait to be "California Kim".

Tennessee Kim had just spent her first Christmas separated from her family and was dealing with the grief that came along with that. Tennessee Kim was training for a 70.3 mile race that she didn't want to do. She had just started a business and wasn't sure what direction to take it in. And she was sick of the far-right politics of her home state.

California Kim, on the other hand, she led a happy, balanced, relaxed life where she rode her bike to the farmers market, ate salads and went on hikes. California Kim didn't train, she did what she wanted to do. She became a yoga instructor and dabbled in juicing. California Kim drove a white Fiat and cruised the Sunset strip blasting Father John Misty.

I'm sure I've said this before, but the key to mental health is integration, so it should come as no surprise that living your life as two different people isn't super healthy. Fear not, I'm in therapy. So back in February-March when all of this came to a head, my therapist helped me realize two things:  1) that I had created California Kim because I didn't want to do my race (I was registered for Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in May), and 2) that I had to merge California Kim with Tennessee Kim.

*Man, this sounds REAL crazy typing all of this out. It felt normal at the time.

This took a couple of months of work, but I figured it out. I quit training for my race and ultimately didn't do it (a race that I had spent upwards of $500 on, by the way). I started buying healthier foods and snacks to keep around the house. I started thinking about if I wanted to think about becoming a yoga instructor. Oh, and I started meditating.

And it worked. I merged the two Kim's, and I've spent the last few months reprogramming the way I think about health and exercise. It's been great!

So here's where I'm at today. I'm registered for a half marathon in December and I'm a week away from being registered for a second half marathon in April. But I don't think I want to do them. I've started upping my mileage on my training runs and my knees hurt. It's affecting my other exercise. It hurt to kick in the pool this week and it hurts to do squats and lunges, which is a big part of what I do with my personal trainer. I'm not injured, it's discomfort, but discomfort is still a pain in the ass.

WWCKD? She'd probably say fuck it and take her laptop to a juice bar and write a compelling blog post on the resurgence of denim patches.

What do I do if I'm not a runner? Can I still be a runner if I only do my East Nasty and Pancake runs, but no half marathons? Do I even give a shit? I joined a cycling team. Do I become a cyclist, and if so, how do I become a cyclist in the winter? Do I become a yoga instructor and start juicing? These are my questions.

To be continued.


victoriacumbow said...

I've been to California, three times now, and it scares me a little bit more each time. I like Tennessee Kim. (But I totally see your point.) I say keep merging the two and run if you want. Don't run if you don't. (But I'll be at that April race with you, FYI.) Either way, you are strong and determined, and you're taking beautiful steps to merge both Kims into the one you want to be. (And also, you give solid advice. I'm doing Augusta instead of Vineman.) You can come ride with me this winter, too. I'll be around. Bundled, but around.

josephine said...

I can totally relate to this post. I just created the "Iowa Katherine" and am back at work today--back in the "Tennessee Katherine real world" and hating it. Lots of analysing going on in my head today--trying to figure out what it is that is making me miserable in Tennessee and figuring out how to change it.

The Blonde Mule said...

Victoria! Thank you for saying all of that! And girl, good call on Augusta. You made the right decision. I have so many things to send you now - training plans, nutrition, etc. Yay!!

The Blonde Mule said...

Looney! Wait, or should I say Scruggs! I'm so happy to hear from you! First of all, I didn't know you were in Iowa. WHOA. I feel like you're such an adventurous spirit that you have a hard time staying in one place for too long. I bet travel and language feeds your soul. Maybe planning a vacation, or saving for a vacation would help. Keep me posted!

Emma Bellamy said...

I kinda feel this way about NYC Emma v. Nashville Emma. NYC Emma is cooler but probably more insecure. Nashville Emma is less insecure and alot less cool. But she'll ride bikes with you this winter;)

The Blonde Mule said...

Emma - yes, exactly! Girl, can we please ride bikes. I can't remember, did you join TWCP? If so, are you on the FB page? I'm thinking of joining their group ride this Sunday. Talk soon!


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