Sunday, April 13, 2014

Running with Integrity and Responsibility

My simple definition of integrity is the act of doing what you say you will do.  Responsibility is assuming consequences for your actions, good or bad.  I have interacted lately, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, with people who show precious little of either quality.

Are you feeling a twinge?  Are there times where you haven't followed through on something you said you would do?  Are there times you have denied responsibility for your actions?  

Before I continue this post, I will tell you upfront that I am not going to speak specifically about the interactions I've had with people who lack integrity or fail to show responsibility (except for if it's about my kids or my husband--I am TOTALLY calling them out).  I am going to speak in general terms about situations in which I often encounter these problems.  If you find you are angry, or you feel that I am calling you out. . .maybe you need to think about your actions lately.

I am a teacher, so I am quite used to lack of integrity or responsibility.

Usually, these lapses from students don't bother me because students are kids, and kids are stupid still growing and hopefully learning from their mistakes.  I became a teacher because I like kids, and I want to help them be as great as they can be.  Adults, though, they are another story.

Stephani (you ask), what does this have to do with running?

Well, ask yourself if you know someone in these circumstances--better yet, ask yourself if YOU have done this:

1.  Have you ever scheduled a group run and then didn't show up or cancelled because you just didn't feel like going?

2.  Have you ever announced to everyone you know (Hellooooo, Social Media!) that you were registered for a race, slacked on the training, and then backed out of the race?

3.  Do you ever skip runs for no good reason and then wonder why you can't improve?

4.  Do you neglect cross-training and complain about getting hurt?

5.  Do you eat too much and complain to everyone that you don't understand why you haven't lost weight?

6.  Do you injure yourself and, against the advice of everyone you know AND your doctor, continue to run until you get REALLY hurt?

7.  Do you complain about your bad luck when it comes to any of the above circumstances?

There have been times when we all have compromised our integrity in some way.  That is why responsibility is so important.  Own up to the consequences of your actions.  Admit that your behavior can often determine what happens to you, good or bad.  Did your peeps ask you how you PR'd that race?  Don't say it was luck; tell the truth.  Your hard work and determination are what helped you to PR.  Do you make time to work out as often as you need to?  Don't brush that off by telling people it's because you aren't as busy as they are; tell the truth.  You realized that your physical and mental health are important, and you made it a priority in your busy schedule.

When we force ourselves to examine our lapses in integrity, we strengthen our responsibility muscles, and that exercise will in turn build our integrity.  Remember, Peeps:

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