Friday, June 24, 2016

When things don't go to plan...

Setbacks suck. We all have them, some more than others. Forces beyond our control are constantly at work to derail us from our goals...there is no way to stop them. We can't make our coworker "unquit" so we don't have to pick up their slack, we can't make our child "unsick" so we don't have to be home to care for him, we can't make our hamstrings "uninjured" so we don't have to take time off to let it heal. Setbacks have been plaguing me lately. I have wanted to write about all the awesome things I've been doing this spring...pacing races, making my first podium in a triathlon, running another 5K with Kayley, you know...all the good stuff. But the "bad stuff" has been taking up all my time, and for the past couple weeks I have been contemplating giving up on my Half Ironman training because of it. I like to preach about pushing yourself, about thinking positively and believing your body is capable of doing amazing things. I'm great at dishing out advice, but not so good about taking it for myself. I am a highly competitive, but mildly driven person...which means that I like to push myself, but only if I know I'm going to succeed. I haven't been able to train the way I would like, which makes me think that I won't be able to finish, and a DNF terrifies me, to the point that I think I should just not even show up.

Thankfully I have some very wise friends who put things into perspective for me. They reminded me that there is no shame in allowing setbacks to happen, and that it's okay to re-evaluate the end goal. Maybe I won't race in the time I wanted, maybe I will have to walk part of the 13.1 mile run after the bike, but showing up and starting is still a goal, and "just finishing" is not failure, and scrapping all the time and effort I've put into training is not in my nature, quitting does not come easily to me, I've faced these hurdles before. I remembered the saying "I haven't come this far only to come this far", and I wised up. Setbacks are not breakdowns, you don't throw away your car because the windshield wipers aren't working, you just have to stop driving in the rain for a while.

I said it before, setbacks suck. If those setbacks suck enough, they may force you to redefine your goals, but they don't have to be the end of your goals. I will find time to tell you about all the good stuff going on soon (more pacing, another race with Kayley, meeting up for runs with friends). Until then I will keep the finish line in sight, I may not get there as fast as I'd like, or in the fashion I would like, but I will get there, stronger, smarter and better than I was when I started.