We don’t often talk about track and field events that aren’t strictly running here, but this episode we took a slight metaphorical deviation. Hurdles: the thin barrier that stands somewhere between two and four feet tall, intentionally placed in between you and your next step around the track. It’s a perfect addition to the running analogy, something we need to overcome,that stands between us as the finish line.
Today’s guest is Emily Abbate, host of her own podcast titled “Hurdle.” There she interviews a host of impressive people, all of which have used wellness to overcome their own personal obstacle or hurdle on their journey. Emily gave us some insight into how she got started with the Hurdle podcast, some of her most favorite guests to date, and of course, all about running in her life.
Overcoming Your Hurdles
Each of us deal with unique hurdles, including (and often especially) those who seem to have the most success in life. We’ve learned on this podcast that failure and trials are a necessary part of success, and that if we learn from those trying times, we come out stronger. It’s not easy to keep a positive attitude in the face of difficulty, but taking the next step forward is what it takes to end up where we want to be.
Emily recommends trying to understand what is fact and what is feeling when we approach our own hurdles. Say to yourself, “I feel overwhelmed,” instead of “I am overwhelmed,” she says. Recognizing that small, yet profound difference takes us from a state of ruin, to a place of understanding. It’s okay to feel scared, or anxious, or even defeated, but if you know that it’s just a passing state of emotion rather than an unchangeable personal attribute, you can find ways to keep going.
Take the Next Step
When we do feel overwhelmed, Emily says we have two options. We can either let our feelings and thoughts take over, or we can make a shift. Recognizing that feeling is the best way to make a shift. We can discern our feelings from our environment by slowing down.
“The best piece of advice that I would offer is to take a step back and breath,” says Emily, “sometimes you just need time to process and remove the emotion from it. Sometimes passion can blind us form a logical next step or a logical explanation of how to move forward.” Give it that time, whether it’s an hour, a day, or a week and look for that new perspective.
Once you are ready, take the next step. Sometimes the easiest way to get through something is to put your head down, look at your feet, and just watch yourself take one step forward. Whatever you are working through, there are small actionable items that you can take to get where you want to be. Break it down enough so that each step feels in your control and completely doable.
Get Comfortable with Uncomfortable
Like many, Emily started running to lose weight. She tells the story of one summer during college when she made up her mind to get out the door and start running every day. She ran what she thought was a mile which would take her about 14 minutes to complete. Later she found out that she was actually only running a half mile.
Unlike many might be, Emily was not discouraged by this realization. Looking back, she was grateful for that moment because it’s when she learned to love running. Now she has run eight marathons and has no intention to stop.
If you learn to love running, you will want to run for the rest of your life. Remember that as you decide when to run, how fast, how far, and with whom. Learn to love running, and it will carry you through your hurdles.
Emily likes to say that she decided to “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” when she first stepped out the door to go running. And now that she is, she knows what to do with the hurdles that come her way. You can too.
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Thank you to Emily, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.