A couple of weeks ago I walked into an electronics store and a friendly salesperson came right over to me. “Can I help you?” I stared blankly at him, tempted to walk away.
Poor guy. Let me start in the beginning. I went to the store to get a Garmin GPS watch to use for running, an early holiday gift for… me!
As fun as that sounds, not one, but two things made me feel like I should turn around and walk out of the store.
1) This purchase required me to spend money on myself. I’m definitely a frugal person in general (the clearance rack just speaks to me!), but especially when it comes to investing in things for myself.
My classic move is trying on a bunch of clothes, picking out a couple of things that actually fit me and make me feel good… and then leaving them behind because I talk myself out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll spend on a meal out with the hubby or going to a movie with friends, but when it comes to something that’s just for ME, I can always find an excuse to keep my wallet shut.
Even if I could come to terms with spending on myself…
2) This purchase required me to think of myself as a runner. Moi? Couldn’t be. Growing up, I took dance classes (my love of dance led me to become a Zumba instructor and fitness blogger as an adult!) but I didn’t really play sports. Running seemed like something athletes did, and when you’re surrounded by messages that tell you “dancers aren’t athletes,” you just don’t feel compelled to lace up.
In my late 20s, I discovered running as a joyful hobby, one that I could get better with over time and one that made me feel fit and strong. I was a slow runner, which again led me to doubt my athletic prowess. If someone asked me, “Do you run?” I would babble a string of semi-excuses:
- I try to, but, I’m reeeeally slow. More like a jog.
- Yeah, but I’m not that good at it!
- Not really, I mean, I’m not like one of “those runners.”
So, back to my friend in the electronics store. My interest in a Garmin watch was really a step in the direction of owning my identity as an athlete, and I wasn’t going to let my usual concerns about spending on myself or my lack of confidence stop me.
I asked him to point me to the GPS watches, and carefully weighed my options. I even skipped the watch with the built-in activity and calorie tracker, or else this purchase would have been about losing weight. No, this time I wasn’t backing down: I’m a serious runner.
With my new watch on my arm, I ran a 10K race and killed it (which, for me, was a 10:22/mile pace). My purchase for me has value that goes far beyond what I spent on the watch. I feel like a runner with it on my arm. I perform like a runner. And, I believe in myself more than ever.
What will you do for yourself this holiday season?