On “The Shiny Syndrome”

So I have a HUGE case of what I call “The Shiny Syndrome”.  Known also as “oooh, look, shiny” or characterized very well in the movie Up! as “SQUIRREL!”  Basically, I’ll make these great and grandiose plans, and then get distracted and start wandering away to another path following something else shiny and then all of a sudden, I have no idea how to get back to the other one.  So it’s fine, and I keep chasing the new hotness shiny.  Rinse, and repeat.  And repeat.

Some things take longer than others to lose my interest (gymnastics I gave a good 13 years, pursuing art seriously after college – about 4 years, etc), but eventually, it will fall off my radar, as one can only have a finite amount of passion in their life without being exhausted (or exhausting!).  Some of the more recent and fleeting shinies have been:

-The 100 pushup challenge.  I was enamoured with the idea of being able to do that many.  The problem was when it started to be a workout on it’s own and not just part of my arms workout.  I got up to about 45 and have maintained the ability to do that many though!

-Selling my jewelry.  I dropped 150 bucks on beading supplies and was NOT going to make anything for myself until I had made at least 10 sets (necklace and bracelet) to sell at 15 bucks a pop.  I was not going to buy any more supplies until I sold them, making back my investment.  I was going to do this by May.  It’s the middle of June, I have 4 necklaces made, 0 bracelets, and I’ll already spent at least 10 more dollars on beading supplies.  Fail!  In my own defense, it has been so beautiful outside this spring, I just couldn’t bear turning down gallivanting outside.  And there was a half off sale.  Now that the 100+ heat is approaching, I definitely plan to restart this anew.

-Obsessively tracking/analyzing my food/activity/mood etc.  I was so good for a long time, analyzing calories in vs calories out daily and weekly, as well as how I felt.  I found out a lot of things during that phase, like not to worry about a day or 2 of being up in weight, just take your low per week and count that.  Also, if I could be a “calorie burner” each day (as in, take in less calories than I burn) I did better than if I just did a few marathon days, even if it ended up the same at the end of the week.  I just haven’t been able to get back to that, even if it was probably one KEY element of my success.

So now that we have established that it is hard for me to see things through, I would like to express how incredibly proud of myself I am for finishing this half marathon training (minus the last 2 mile run of course).  Even if I fall down in 2 minutes and break my ankle and I can’t run.  Even if the car breaks down on the way to San Antonio and we get picked up by a carnie cult and end up as circus freaks.  Even if I have to walk half the race or don’t finish or get abducted by aliens along the course.   I managed to avoid “shiny syndrome” long enough to set out a 12 week plan, and see it through.  I set a goal to run 13.1 miles, when I could only run 6 at the time, made a training schedule, and Saturday I shall be primed and ready to do it.  I didn’t quit at 8 or 9, even though it was freaking cool I could get that far.  I didn’t stop increasing my mileage even though the rapidity of it was honestly intimidating.

I know this hobby is a keeper, as I’m already starting to think about training in the fall for the next one in Jan/Feb.  I still maintain that I am super ready to take the summer off and maybe work on 5k/10k times and riding my bike and *supersecretsurprisestuff*, but I’m already figuring out what worked, what didn’t, what I need to add, when I need to start, and how I’m going to run in cold weather.

I don’t even care that I had a crappy tempo run today.  I don’t care that I still have a 2 mile easy run left and all the yoga I can possibly cram into my life before Saturday.  For all intents and purposes, I did it.  I’m standing near the top of the moutain.  Just getting to this point is a victory in its own right.  The rest, they say, is downhill from here.  13.1 miles downhill.

Now, with all that feel-good talk out of the way, I’m taking bets on whether I can smash the 2:15:00 goal I’ve set for myself…

5 comments

  1. Divinari says:

    Supersecretsurprisestuff??? But, but, but, I wanna know!

    :)

    I’ve thought about making jewelery, but my current skill is so far below my imagination that it’s always frustrating. Probably also not having the right tools or supplies doesn’t help.

    And I’m guessing I’m gonna need to see Up!. I’ve heard a lot of people talking very fondly about it.

  2. Divinari says:

    (ps, I can make with the commenty commenty again! Whee!)

  3. cat says:

    haha, glad you overcame the shiny syndrome in your trwaining!!! I go thru the exact same thing with nearly every hobby I have! Frustrating little thing isn’t it?!

    I’m hoping the baking thing keeps me occupied awhile. I did the jewelry thing for a bit and I want to do more but time is sparse. So much to do it’s easy to get distracted!!!

  4. shauna/dg says:

    As a fellow Shiny Syndrome sufferer I also take my hat off to your for making it through that grueling training! :) That is such a huge committment so I stand in awe. Ooh look… SQUIRREL!

  5. Miz. says:

    OH MY GOSH THAT IS SOOOO FUNNY.
    I love your name for it.
    Around here we call it I SHOULD BUY A BOAT!! (line from the movie Corky Romano when he is all coked up :) ) syndrome.