This past weekend – I almost gave up on my half marathon training. After a steady increase in missed workouts, a disappointing time in the Monument Ave 10k and a cold keeping me from my long run this weekend, I was ready to throw in the towel. Not 100% quit and not run the race, but I was about to accept that I probably couldn’t run the whole thing and allow myself to continue missing workouts and let my performance for the race be whatever it may be as a result. I was going to let myself fail.
Here’s the thing: most everyone is afraid of failure. It’s an inherent trait in humans. So, when we are looking at a situation where we may fail, we’ve gotten pretty good at finding coping mechanisms that make failure an easier pill to swallow. We make excuses, we down play how disappointed we feel, we allow ourselves to think that our goals just aren’t meant for us to achieve – something like “I must just not be good at ____”.
I just did that. I almost published an entire blog post making it ok for me to fail. I said things like, it was harder than I thought and we’ve been so busy and I just don’t enjoy running anymore. All excuses. I even said – I’m going to TRY to run the whole race but I accept that I might have to walk, I accept that I might fail to reach my goal. But thankfully, my husband read it first and wasn’t having any of it.
You see as I mentioned before, I have been really slacking on my training. I can give you the list of reasons I’ve missed this workout or that workout but the truth of it is – it got hard to find the motivation to run, so I found an excuse each day I had to run and made it ok to skip it. Then, to make myself feel better, I tried to share those excuses with you so I could hope you would forgive me if I fall short on race day.
So, why confess to all of this? Why not just skip the blog post? Because I learned something when I received a little tough love from my husband that I think is worth sharing.
I’ve decided that I have 4 more weeks until the race and it’s not too late to give it everything I’ve got to try to reach my goal of running the entire race. But instead, if I had accepted the excuses I came up with and told myself it’s ok if I have to walk some during the race, then I make it ok to fail. I set myself up so that when the course gets tough or I get tired, I already said it’s ok to walk, so I do. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.
And that’s just not ok. It’s one thing if I give it 100% and don’t quite make my goal. But if I fail because I didn’t do my best – then I’ve just gotten what I earned. I’ve wasted my time and effort, and my family’s time when they come out to support me.
I think the biggest thing I’ve realized is that there’s a moment when people are trying to accomplish something difficult where the choice not to quit is what separates people who are successful, from those who aren’t. There’s a point where things aren’t going well and to keep going is a huge struggle and it’s so so SO easy to quit. And this applies to everything! It completely translates to my photography business – or dieting, or relationships!
Quitting is the single easiest way to completely avoid the struggles it takes to become successful!
So, what’s my plan now?
The next 4 weeks are going to be busy – I mean BUSY busy. We are moving (more on that very soon, I promise), packing, birthdays, weddings, business-related endeavors, another race and as exhausting as this will be – I am going to commit to continue training. I have mapped out my runs for the next 4 weeks, they are on the calendar and I plan on giving this 100% until race day! (The calendar is on the fridge and you can rest assured Hagan won’t let me off the hook!)
The last thing is that I don’t want anyone reading this thinking that I’m trying to beat you up for your failures. This is just part of my journey and I intend for it to be motivating and encouraging. I am struggling not to give up because training has gotten really hard and I hope that wherever you are, whatever your struggles, you can read this and find the courage to keep going. If success were easy, we’d all be millionaire, marathon running, supermodels – or something. That’s not what’s meant for everyone but, if you set out to achieve something, it won’t be easy if it’s worth having.
As always – thanks for reading!
Sources: Calendar – ohsolovelyblog.com