February’s Folly

There is a difference between running and run training.  When I set out in the beginning of this month to start training for the Deer Lake 67, I knew I wanted to make sure that I had a balanced plan. This plan was to include speed work, hill training, and long steady distances for the run component, with the addition of core training and flexibility work. I laid out my plans like my Sunday best. All shiny and pretty and full of promise.

Sigh.

The reality of any good training plan is that you should come back from after each training session stronger than the last. Well, I forgot that point. Two weeks in a row, my shoulder was screaming. Now, I have dislocated my shoulder quite often and know my injury quite well. But, something in the plan was causing me severe grief by Tuesday evening. Crappy, eh? Well, this personal trainer slogged through and completely berated herself rather than admitting that the sheer volume of training sessions was killing me. I was feeling pretty low. I felt like I had set too great a goal and I was too inexperienced an athlete to cut it. Strong people can run this race and I was not feeling like one of them. I wasn’t even good enough to create my own training plan…who am I trying to kid?

See, I have this thing. This drive. This compulsion that makes me want to achieve everything that I set out for me to do. Somewhere along the line, someone told me I could do anything I wanted. Isn’t that sweet? Well, it only works if I am able to actually achieve it. In fact, I like to be able to see the plan and I love, love, LOVE to use highlighters to indicate my amazing success. UGHFebruary's Schedule

Looking back on this image to when I realized my flub and began drafting this post, I realized that my desire to highlight everything on this list was becoming more important than how my body felt about the process. I allowed the lure of checking off a list to take higher precedence to my well-being. This has happened to me before. This pattern has kept me from really building towards achieving a goal with strength and smarts, and ultimately be happy along the way.

When the plan gets in the way, we have to let go. Achieving a fitness, weight, or life goal is what we need to hold on to rather than the method we think will get us there. We need to be fluid and responsive and open to allow our new way to live and thrive. As such, I have realized the real checklist, the one that counts, looks more like this:

  1. Is this working for me?
  2. How can I make it better?

I don’t mean to belittle the challenge of achieving our goals, or making it sound simplistic. I know how big life is and how much pressure we can place on ourselves. But, is your life joyous? Are you happy? Is it all working for you? If you cannot ask yourself these questions because they scare you…sit down, take a moment, and be honest. I know that for myself, endless curiosity and fearsome determination will guide me to the finish line. I might as well be happy along the way.

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