Eliminate “just”

Me: “I just have an easy spin for 75 minutes.”
The Iron Hippie: “Don’t say ‘just’.”
Me: “Thanks for the reminder.”

“Just” is a word I want to eliminate from my vocabulary. When using the word “just,” it often sounds as though whatever I’m referring to is unimportant and trivial. While I might “just” have an easy spin on the schedule, this easy spin has a purpose. It is a great way to flush out the legs from a tough session and keep the legs fresh for the next session. It shouldn’t be diminished or belittled.

Sometimes we forget about how far we’ve come and diminish or belittle our successes. Thinking back to when I first started endurance sport, I would head out on an hour ride and work SO HARD to ride 12-14 mph. Now that is an easy ride for me. I struggled to run my first 20K race at a 12:00 min/mile average pace and now I struggle to run that pace for an easy run. I’m SO grateful for this progress!! That progress has happened because of a combination of tough + easy workouts, experience, hard work, determination, guidance from Coach Kelly, support from my tribe, believing in myself, self confidence, and so much more!!

Prefacing my workout with “just” doesn’t set a positive tone and can make others feel as though I am being less supportive of them and where they are in their journey. What might be something simple for one athlete might be a serious challenge for another athlete. What might be a short workout for one athlete might be a long workout for another athlete. What might be a slow pace one athlete might be a fast pace for another athlete. What might be a daunting workout for one athlete might be something another athlete would give anything to do (especially if they are recovering from an injury).

Whether it is “just” an easy spin, “just” a 10 minute run off the bike, “just” one cookie, “just” a short nap, “just, just, just”…”just” has no positive place in my vocabulary and I am going to continue to work really hard to eliminate it permanently from my vocabulary.


10 thoughts on “Eliminate “just”

  1. Yes, yes, yes, yesssss. I try to be mindful and not use the word too, sometimes it slips out! It was a huge part of the a race I used to help organize in Madison, “not just a 5K’. Own all of it, no matter the distance or speed.

    1. Right?! We are all at different points and on our own journey!! So important that we don’t diminish or belittle any achievement no matter how big or small!! It ALL matters.

  2. I don’t say it to other people, but sometimes I need to use “just” or “only” to bully myself into doing something, like if I’m wanting to poop out on a half marathon I’ll say “Come on Self, it’s *just* a half marathon!” or even “it’s *just* a 5K!” I’m in the crowd that considers 13.1 miles to be its own distance and it should not be considered half of anything, but sometimes I need to be reminded I could be needing to do more, but since I don’t, then I should make the best of what I “just” have to do right now.

    1. As long as it is motivating and not belittling, I don’t see it being a problem. When I want to poop out on something, I say to myself, “You GET to do this!! Not everyone is capable or ready for this. Go have fun!!” I know there are lots of people who would if they could, but their bodies won’t allow them to, so on those days, I do it for them. ❤️

  3. YES! What a great discussion. I use the word “just” all the time when people ask me what I do. I’m *just* as stay at home mom. I love my job and it what I wanted to do when Dave and I decided to have children, but I get looked down on a lot 😦

    1. You are definitely NOT “just” a stay at home mom!! Being a stay at home mother and raising your kids is one of, if not the most important job on the planet!! No one should look down on you!!

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