Let me tell you about my latest failure…
Ha! How’s that for a hook line. In times when most of us usually lead with our best foot forward, I wanted to take a minute and share my failure.
I learn so much from nature, fitness, and difficult situations- and this story has all three!
In November, I will be participating in a 1/2 marathon… the event is only 8 short weeks away, which means it’s go-time for late night and early morning pavement time.
This summer, I accidentally quit running. Go ahead and smirk, it’s ok. “How do you accidentally quit?” Well, you just don’t on-purpose keep doing what you know to do.
In July, we had our women’s conference, and I was busy. Plain and simple. I didn’t make time. — Then the week after I was sick…. and then the week after that, I was…. hmm, not sure- but 4 weeks went by. I was still exercising, but now I had a mental block. Because I hadn’t run; I assumed I couldn’t run.
Then, on August 20th, I ran. I had finished a 5am walk with my prayer buddies. My muscles were warmed up and I had 25 minutes to spare. I got in just over 2 miles. It felt great, my legs remembered, my lungs remembered, and I was encouraged.
I decided to get back on the wagon. The following evening I ran 4 miles, and then a couple days later 5 miles… and now, I am feeling confident and ready to be consistent with my training program.
👊🏼 🏃♀️ 👟
And here is the failure part…
Saturday morning, I went for a run, and it was a miserable mess. I didn’t get out of the house until 10:30am. It was hot and sunny, I was tired. I stopped to walk, dang it! I walked a little, then I ran some more. But then nope, I walked again. And that’s how the rest of the 6 mile route went… and it was such a bummer.
From this failure- here is what I learned
If quitting is an option, every option to quit looks good.
Out on a hot gravel road, the itchy grass was tempting as a place to stop and sit down. An abandoned metal seated tractor looked appealing, a hammock was inviting, and I even thought about jumping in the air conditioned cab of a utility worker’s truck while he was up in the bucket!
All those options obviously would have been poor choices. They would not have resulted in relief. And if I did get relief, I still would have had to walk the rest of the way home! My mind was thinking about my hot feet, my tired legs, and my thirst! My mind was so focused on quitting, that with every step I saw new opportunity to give up.
Plan A only fails because there is a Plan B.
When you think about quitting, don’t be deceived or distracted by short-term, temporary options. Quitting doesn’t actually work.
About a mile from home, I started thinking about writing this blog. I wanted the story to have a better ending. Literally, that is what fueled my finish. The last 6 blocks to home were mine to run. I finished well when I decided to change the narrative. I ran when I decided not to walk anymore. Maybe it’s not that simple, but then maybe it is. If failure is an option it will be.
“Sometimes the best way not to fail is simply to not quit.”
#burntheboat (look up that reference!)