Losing the battle, winning the war

I write about this topic a. lot. It’s because after years of working on it, I still spend way too much time beating myself up when I have to let things go.

This week I announced that I’ll be updating this blog a little less frequently for the next few weeks as we head into the final weeks before our move. I put a lot of thought into the decision, and I know it’s the right thing to do if I want to maintain my to-do list and my sanity. But knowing it’s the right decision wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling defeated when Tuesday passed with Monday’s post on the homepage.

I’m running my first 5K this Saturday after months of training. The last week in February, my training was going really well. My times were up, my endurance was strong, and I felt like I would surely be ready by the end of March. Then I came down with a brutal cold in the second week of the month that kept me out of the gym for over a week. The endurance and speed that I worked so hard to build flew right out the window. My lungs are still recovering, and my body is still weak from what was a pretty nasty virus. This week I can barely make it a mile before I have to slow down and walk.

My difficult runs aren’t a product of laziness, and I can’t control it. Still I can’t help but my kick myself as I consider the strong possibility that I won’t reach my goal on Saturday. I may not be able to run all 3 miles without walking, and my time will likely be much slower than I hoped.

I know I’m not alone in this endless struggle to convince myself that obstacles are not necessarily failures. I know that you can lose the battle without losing the war, but I still have trouble getting over even the smallest of defeats.

I think a lot of women (and men for that matter) waste too much energy beating themselves up instead of building themselves up. Unfortunately, I’m proof that recognizing the problem isn’t enough to solve it. I can tell myself over and over that it’s okay to take a step back, the important thing is to keep going. Yet I still end up here — beating myself up for obstacles that I can’t control and feeling defeated prematurely. Of course, that attitude isn’t very motivating, and I end up sabotaging myself with negativity in the end.

It’s a vicious cycle that I hope to someday overcome. In the meantime, I just have to keep reminding myself that each setback makes me stronger, brings me one step closer to my goals, and teaches me a valuable lesson in how not to get there.

Photo by kaneda99

4 thoughts on “Losing the battle, winning the war

  1. Cathy

    Living with a chronic disease and treating it naturally, I often feel like I am taking steps backwards. But, what I have realized is that you can only make the choices that work for you in the moment. Sometimes what seems like steps backward often lead to new ideas and new choices. It sounds like you are really motivated and with that will come disappointments. But, you are doing great!
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Returning to My Rheumatoid Arthritis Roots =-.

  2. M

    Cut yourself some slack. You are doing a 5K whether you run or walk, you’re doing a 5K.. which is probably 5k more than you did last year!

  3. Jennifer

    I have been running for the past few years and it used to ruin my entire day if I had to stop and walk any. But then this winter I read some running books that talked about mixing up the running and walking and that this was fine. I started to change my way of thinking a little bit. The distance matters, but not really if I run it or walk it.

    Then I saw my marathon runner neighbor several times around town – walking a bit on her runs. It was like a light went off in my head. Walking is ok if it helps us meet our goals. I still try to run the whole way I have intended to go, but I don’t beat myself up if I walk.

    Good luck at your race – I am sure you will do great, you have trained hard and are ready. That right there is a huge accomplishment.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..A super good day! =-.

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