Challenge (Failure) Accepted

The year is drawing to a close and it’s time to reflect; did we achieve those goals we set ourselves for 2018?

I didn’t.

But it’s ok. Don’t panic. It’s fine – promise!

I wanted to run 1000km in 2018. I’m not going to do it. I’m on 917km. Sooooo close… Close enough to drive me a bit mad with frustration but far enough away that I do need to accept that it is not going to happen.

I wanted to put money in my savings jar for every run that I did. I stopped doing it months ago. It just wasn’t a priority anymore so it always slipped off the bottom of my to-do list.

I wanted to beat my parkrun PB of 28:38. Instead I can’t get round 5k without walk breaks and my parkrun time is now about 35 minutes.

I wanted to do my Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) course. I booked on, and then I cancelled.

So many non-achievements! Those goals weigh heavy, like concrete burdens. The thing is I set those goals to improve my life, not to depress myself further so screw ’em! Sod it. Did I try?! HELL YEAH I tried! Did I want success?! YES!

Stuff happened! Other unforeseen challenges evolved over the year and big ‘uns at that and I have survived them all. Here I am. I can’t get round parkrun without walking but I can get round parkrun and that’s a win. That is still more than my old self thought possible. I am still better than I was and I am still trying.

If anything I feel a tiny bit of pride in being able to say that it’s ok I didn’t achieve my goals because I did prioritise keeping well. Running is key to my mental health but it isn’t always the sensible choice and, I think, I’ve recognised that and acted accordingly.

Challenge accepted? Boom! Now comes a different kind of acceptance, the kind self-compassionate type of acceptance: it’s ok to fail. (Fail is not a bad word as long as you tried – and I did. Failing is part of life, of learning and of success. I reckon Yoda might say summat like “without failure there can be no succeed”, right? Imagine it in his voice. It’s very comforting I find!) Failure acceptance is way harder than challenge accepted! It’s true! It really is! Think about it, you put all the effort and work in for none of the glory. Ouch!

Now, with that in mind, I think I’ll set myself one more challenge for 2018… it’s the 19th of December today. Can I run every day until January the 2nd 2019? It’s only 13 runs away. That seems a lot. Can I do it? I don’t know. Properly no idea.

But, I do know, that I’ll try.

Challenge accepted.

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