You laid out the perfect plan to achieve your goals and everything was progressing according to your plan. You could see the physical improvements, and you were developing a mental toughness and mindset that nothing was going to get in your way. Until “it” happened…
“It” comes in many forms and when you least expect it – disguised as a family crisis, work demands, or a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. Clearly it’s not something you expected to encounter, but it derails progress toward your intended goal. Although it may be disappointing to backtrack to re-gain fitness, re-lose weight, or simply gut out a less-than-ideal situation to get through your intended race, there is comfort in knowing that: “I did it before, so I can do it again!” While that may not be the most comforting thought, sometimes it’s enough to get you through the moment (e.g. workout, training plan, or even the race) – and that’s all you need.
Let me share with you some experiences and see if you can place yourself any of these scenarios. I’d been putting off surgery for a nagging shoulder injury, but finally had it done in 2012 – after one of the best running years I’d had in quite some time. I’d been fit, lean, and just finished a new ultramarathon distance which was a huge personal triumph. After the race, I had the surgery and couldn’t run a step for three months. That major setback in my training cost me many more months to regain the same level of fitness prior to the surgery. As it turns out, I ran the same race again in 2014 and finished faster! I was burnt out by the end of the 2014 running season. I’d worked hard to regain that fitness, but lost my joy for running in the process. For most of 2015, I spent my time hiking, riding my bicycle, or doing many other activities – but I thought that my running days might be in my past. After nearly a year away, I’m back to running and enjoying it as much as ever. My fitness and weight have both declined in the past year, but at least I’ve recaptured the joy in my running and can work toward improving both. And speaking of weight, with the inevitable march of time, my weight seems to be an ongoing (losing) battle. It’s tougher and tougher just to maintain my weight, so I accept that I need to adjust to a new “normal” and work with what life provides. Being at a less than ideal weight is not going to stop me from getting out and doing the things I love.
From the stories I’ve shared about my own challenges, I hope you take away two important messages:
1) every woman you know is working on overcoming some obstacle between her and her goals – so you aren’t alone
2) know that whatever challenge you are facing can be overcome if you don’t quit trying!
Let’s face facts; most of us are weekend warriors who don’t have the luxury of the singular pursuit of our personal goals, and we need to juggle a lot of balls while we are working through our plan to achieve great pursuits – but that makes the achievement that much sweeter. Accept that your plans will probably need to change, and understand that is part of your journey. Most importantly: believe in yourself and your ability to overcome those obstacles to achieve your goals. And never, never, never give up in the pursuit of your own greatness!