PhD Interviews (aka my short break from running)

Well, the day finally arrived. Friday was my interview for a PhD program that would allow me to become a fully licensed psychologist. Needless to say, last week was both stressful and exciting.

With my nerves at an all time high and the temperature dropping lower and lower, I didn’t get much running in.

Instead, I decided to change it up and hop on my trusty exercise bike, and man was I surprised!

When I’m out jogging, it’s really hard for me to detect any sort of progress in my fitness. Running and jogging is still REALLY hard for me, and some days I feel like for no reason I’m back at square one, huffing and wheezing after 30 seconds of jogging.

But I hopped on my bike for the first time in months, and man did I see a difference. Whereas I used to struggle at a low resistance and barely make it to 3 or 4 miles, last week I was easily able to put in 8 or 9 miles at moderate resistance.

I had that rare feeling of, “Woah! I just totally crushed my goal, but I really want to keep going!”

And again, I was reminded of why I started my own non-competitive, non-judgemental fitness journey. In the world of PhD and job applications, you have to be the best of the best, or you might as well not matter at all. There’s this constant game of trying to impress other people, to meet their standards and produce as much as you can.

Tied up in all of this, it was hard to feel like I could really be proud of anything, because everything was an all or nothing competition.

But in fitness, I can define success for myself. Nobody can tell me whether I did good or bad, because the only person whose opinion matters is my own. Even what I’ve accomplished so far has been so surprising, because I never thought I could do any of it.

And so just the fact that I’m doing it makes me proud.

I’m not sure if I’ll get into this PhD program. To be honest, I’ll probably be crushed for a while if I don’t. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s this – in fitness and in life in general, I’ll always find a way to move forward.

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