Be fierce in the pursuit of your goals but flexible about the methods.
You create your goals. You design your plan. Each day has its allotted activity. The first week goes by and you’re smashing every workout, checking off each small thing on that list. The daily 3 minutes of mindfulness, 15 minutes of French practice, 80 damn ounces of water, 3-4 runs per week, 2 modules of run coaching. And then a foot of snow hits a very unprepared city and that consistency train gets entirely derailed.
No? Just me? Well, okay. That was basically my week in a nutshell. Portland received 12-14 inches of snow overnight last Tuesday. Which meant waking up to a winter wonderland I’d never before experienced in this city. Portland owns 2 snow plows, which creates crazy traffic and dangerous roads. (Kidding about the snow plows; I think we actually own 5.)
This is where adaptability came in. Was I frustrated at first? Absolutely. Here we are a week later and the snow has still not melted. I walked to work that first day and later bought chains for my car and a snow shovel to dig out my entire driveway. But, I didn’t miss a workout and I stayed consistent with my goals.
Adaptability. Goals and training plans provide structure to keep us accountable, but there does not exist one clear path to a goal. Adaptability meant that Wednesday’s leg workout was done at home due to road conditions. It meant that, instead of resigning myself to not running in the snow because it was scary, I put on an extra layer of clothes and handled it. But really, I was terrified of falling while snow running without spikes.
As many of us are working towards new goals right now, I wanted this post to be a reminder to give yourself some grace. You may be trying to implement new workout routines, morning routines, a new eating routine. Rearranging days and modifying the routine does not mean you have deviated from the pursuit of your goal. It means you’ve adapted to what life has dealt and you continue to move forward. Growing in other ways besides rapidly up is not failure. Keep going.
Give yourself grace in knowing that you want it. Whatever that 'it' is you’re working towards. You have the motivation, the determination, and the adaptability to achieve those goals. Be fierce about the pursuit of your goals, but flexible about the methods in which you use to achieve them. Being rigid and inflexible leads to frustration and disappointment as life happens, obstacles arise and we are forced to adapt, which often pushes us out of our comfort zone. This is a good thing.
The Accountability Project is going strong, and I am so thankful to have people to keep me going and remind me of what is most important. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been rambling about the last couple weeks on progress and goals.
The running itself was enjoyable once I got over my fear of falling (it only happened once.) It also distracted from the game my mind wanted to play. I’m beginning to feel comfortable again in the 3-5 mile range. I committed the first 3 weeks of training to base building, as I feel that this is entirely important for the success of my goals this year. It is also a great way to retrain my mental muscle, which has previously attempted to wreak havoc on any semblance of confidence I’ve possessed when it comes to running.
I look forward daily to writing in my training journal and documenting the good and the bad, accepting shortcomings and banishing guilt from that extra taco I consumed. Tracking my progress really puts things into perspective and allows me to hopefully begin to see measured progress and patterns. (I created an acronym to be able to run down my goal list daily to make sure I’m on track. HENSS. Hydration, Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep, Self-care. You can see more on this here.)
Until next time.