Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Failure and Forward motion.

Running has become my safe haven. It’s my go-to place when there’s nowhere else to go, my escape. I’ve grown so dependent on using running as an outlet that I never considered where I’d turn if the running itself became a source of stress. Somewhere over the course of my fall training season, I began to unravel. I was dealing with outside stress and injuries and a host of other things that left me feeling like my running goals were slipping away. I fell prey to the comparison game and found myself wondering why I couldn’t run as fast or as long or as many miles as those around me. Discouraged and consumed by self-pity I began to backslide and, though I hate to admit it, at times I gave up. I hastily adjusted my goals and expectations because I didn’t want to endure the inevitable failure. I lost sight of a lot of things, including myself.

As the year is winding down and most of my races are now behind me, I’ve found some clarity. I’ve learned that my expectations of myself and of others are sometimes unreasonable, and that meeting 75% of a goal may not be perfection but it’s still a hell of a lot of something. Life isn’t all-or-nothing, there’s a lot of space for growth in between. It’s OK not to meet or exceed every goal I set for myself, that’s not a failure; if I’ve learned something then I’ve gained something. Progress is progress and I’m thankful to be moving forward.