In the running community, "PR" means a personal record. This is relevant as you are striving to beat your last time for the mile, half, whatever you're working towards. Knowing your baseline to beat is beneifical in achieving greatness. Runners will refer to this often when running the same routes or races determining how the run went based off of their time, saying "I didn't get a PR or I beat my PR". Notice that it is called a PERSONAL RECORD, not a comparison record. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing, only what you are comparing yourself to, yourself.
An avid ultra marathoner, mountain climbing, super strong and dedicated runner friend of mine told me of an experience with a friend of hers that sparked my interest in writing about this topic. She told me that her friend was well known for winning major races and getting her PR's at the same time; quite the accomplishment. Yet, on one particular race, she wasn't feeling quite right and thus not performing her best either. (In these moments of comparison with oneself, it is extremely easy to get hard on yourself and doubt your abilities). She sent me her experience and I loved reading it. She talked about striving for attitude PR when your circumstances might not allow for a physical PR.
In moments of severe frustration with your shortcomings, inabilities or even your body not performing the way your mind wants it to, an attitude PR becomes crucial. There have been times in my life when I have complained to my husband about something/someone and he exclaims "you're choosing to be upset, mad, frustrated, etc". And those are the EXACT moments that I want to continue in those negative emotions, as if a feeling of being provoked in such a way entitles me to such feelings.
BUT, don't let him know I said this, HE's right (yes he does read my blog, but I was feeling secretive and rebellious feeling like I could keep this from him ;) )
We have the choice in every. single. minute. to determine our attitude and how we will manage the emotions that we feel. Sure, it's definitely HARD when others provoke such negative feelings, but the only person we have complete control/command of is ourselves. We can spend time and energy blaming people all day long, but in the end, it's our choice to allow it to overcome our thoughts and actions.
I have had times in my fitness/learning/mothering/wifing/friending journey that I get down on myself and have a super low attitude about my progress, feeling like I make such good headway and then something/someone/situation knocks me down. It's hard to get back up when someone knocks you down, but dare I say
it's much harder to get back up when the person knocking you down is you?!
It has been said for thousands of years, I would imagine, that we are our own worst critic. And yet, we don't realize the progress that we are halting by giving into those negative thoughts. We blame that others hold us back because of the negative feelings they have induced in us, yet we forget that we have the choice.
There have also been times, when for some unknown reason, I have been super grateful, happy, and joyful in the most unpleasant circumstances. This is proof to me that it truly is a choice to make. If I can make it in the most challenging times, then I can most certainly do it other times as well, even if I think I can't.
My friend's friend helped me get in touch with my own feelings as I have struggled lately to be kind to myself. As I'm working on my Personal Trainer Certification, it's become easy to doubt my ability to retain information for the upcoming exam in 26 days as I struggle to understand it to start with (there are a lot of REALLY long words that describe our muscles, sheesh!).
It's way too easy to get into our own heads and feed it unhealthy discouragement, fear and disappointment, but that doesn't serve anyone!
We must choose every day to push against, although validating/honoring for a moment, the negative thoughts we have each day and work towards an ATTITUDE PR.
Each day in my self-guided with awesome questions journal, I have to assess what I could have done better that day and what I handled well. This allows me to see how my attitude has been, regardless of the circumstances. I get to report to myself how I can be better, but also congratulate myself on the things that I did well. I encourage you to do the same!
Go get your PR my friends! It is truly gratifying when you do!