So yesterday, I decided to journey out for a bit even though my knee is still hurting and mobility is still limited. I wrapped my knee pretty well and enjoyed getting out for a short walk, a very short walk. And yep, I suffered a bit for it but wrapping, icing and elevating is doing the trick. I’m pretty sure by tomorrow I will at least be able to get some yoga in to stretch the muscle and relieve some of the pressure.
Trying not to get too down about the setback. Today it rained/snowed/slushed a bit outside and I knew all weekend friends were running Shamrock (8k, Half Marathon, and Marathon), and I was stuck sitting staring outside at the bleakness of the day and re-wrapping my knee.
Shamrock was to be my first Half Marathon, one because of lack of training I wasn’t prepared for physically or mentally. But was still bittersweet that I was ill-prepared and then sidelined due to injury. But life is about lessons and introspection and all this has shown me how important doing training is and how important strength training is to aid in preventing injury. And has given my a HUGE reminder that I don’t have to push myself to failure.
You see a while back I realized I lack self compassion. Oh I have had a ton of dislike for myself from time to time. But I never gave myself a break. I don’t mean rest break. I mean I not giving myself permission to fail. So when I inevitably did (we all do) I didn’t handle it well. I would get angry with myself for not being good enough, not being as good as _____ fill anyone or anything in the blank.
I was doing this to myself.
I tended to look at the end of things instead of the present. I looked far into the future and would prepare myself for the possibility of failure, the inevitable defeat of ones self. Thinking if I prepare myself for the failure I won’t be as hurt, or disappointed, or as crushed. But seriously all this was doing was defeating myself before even starting.
When I was training for the Shamrock Half all I saw was the end game. And all the self doubt hung on my shoulder every day. So when I went out to train I carried that self doubt along the way. I may as well have given up the day I started. I didn’t give myself permission to fail, or even to just enjoy the journey. Instead I presumed I wouldn’t make it and I would be swept off the course.
But you know what I learned? Who cares if I would have been swept off the course? Who cares if I was dead last? That isn’t the point. It never was or should have been the point. I have learned a lot this past year about myself and life. The end of the story doesn’t matter if you aren’t enjoying the beginning or middle of it. Because even getting swept off a course means you put in your training and you showed up for yourself. Look at all that IS achieved, all the training and all the miles. And maybe, just maybe next year you won’t get swept, you’ll make it a little further, just maybe.
So to myself a reminder, and to all of you reading who may need to hear this….
GIVE YOURSELF SPACE
Space to face the fear of failure, confront it and move forward without it. Take control and put that fear in it’s place. Space to freely choose the direction you want to head in. Is it something you really want? If it is, go at it as if you already won. If you put the effort in, you already are a winner.
GIVE YOURSELF COMPASSION
Consider this. If your friend were afraid of doing something, something they reallllly wanted to do, but was afraid they would fail. Would you tell them, “go ahead, quit”? No, no you wouldn’t. So remember to treat yourself as you would your best friend, your parent, or your spouse. Love yourself as you love them. Give yourself the same pep talk you would give them. The same cheer squad so to speak as you would be for them.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
Don’t focus on the end game. Enjoy the process. Because if you aren’t enjoying it, why are you even out there doing it? Enjoy every aspect of it. Go where you feel inspired. Go at things in YOUR pace, not anyone else’s. Dress yourself the part and stand tall because you are putting yourself out there to improve yourself. And that alone is the best win of all.
TACKLE IT WITH INNOCENCE
Be the child. Children fear life much less that adults do. They don’t have that fear of failure (unless instilled by those around them). So instead of going out and thinking “I can ONLY do 2 miles”, lace up your shoes, walk out the door and think “I wonder how many miles I can do today”. Yes, there are specific training plans you should consider when you are training for longer races. But if you’re just starting out. Don’t limit yourself by your own imagination. Like a child with innocence in tact, let your imagination be limitless. And this we should do with life in general. Not just running.
SET MINI GOALS
Don’t set massive earth shattering goals. Set attainable goals that step just a wee bit outside your present ability.
And most of all….
BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
People can spend years worrying what others will say, or what they’ll think of something. But they aren’t living your life. They don’t wake up with your dreams or your ambitions to focus on. They have their own lives to live.
Something my adorable and wise husband tells me all the time is to not worry what others are thinking because they are usually to worried what someone else is thinking about them and won’t see whatever flaw I am seeing that in my eyes is so HUGE. That by the way, is never HUGE. We all have flaws. We all have things we may not be as good at doing as others. But at the end of the day those unique qualities we all possess of failure and accomplishment balance out with humanity as a whole. That’s why friends are able to help friends and co-workers can help the guy in the next cubicle. So stop being so hard on yourself. We all a gift to the humanity no matter how small or insignificant we feel that gift may be, to others it may be everything. You never know who you may be inspiring, or who’s life you may be helping to change. So be yourself, life isn’t a competition with anyone 💛
So once again I’ll be training but this time I will train in the present and not looking ahead too far. I’m thinking my next planned first time half marathon will be in about a year. But even that, I’m not stressing about. I made myself hate the process and now it’s about falling in love all over again. I have 5k’s, 8k’s and a couple 10 milers I plan to do this year but none with anticipated goals. It’s about the journey and so far, even with a big bad boo boo, I’m loving the journey!