Workin’ It Out: Failure and The Fear

Oh, how I wish this was a different entry.

Anyone who’s checked in on my workout tracker lately has noticed … um, there haven’t been any more x’s. I  mean, sure, I’ve had a run here and there, but really, 3 weeks have gone by with no forward movement.

I’m displeased with this for a number of reasons:

1. The race is in 7 weeks. Under 2 months. And I intend on finishing it, right?

2. I’ve put on weight. Not a lot, but just enough so my work pants don’t really fit.* I tend to put weight on in my torso … which leads to embarrassing questions when people still see you as a newlywed. No, I’m NOT pregnant, asshats, I’ve just been lazy and eating crap lately, so I’ve got a bit of a belly. BACK. OFF.

3. I used to be SUPER disciplined when it came to exercise. Dance’ll do that to ya. But seriously, there were no excuses. No “I’m too tired/sore/sick” no “I don’t wanna”. Me, the girl who loves sleep to an entirely unhealthy degree would get up at 4am to make it to the pool on time to get my swim in before school. Every day. Sun, rain, scorching heat, deep freeze. Now? Discipline? HA!

And that’s the big one.

I’m so damn irritated at myself for thinking up excuses and giving in to them. I mean, nights when I’m going to fall asleep on the treadmill (and DO, in the middle of dinner?) … ok, maybe not the best night to run. Days my back is killing me? DEFINITELY not the best day to run. The one day a month where I can’t MOVE for cramps? That’s always been my day off, so ok. But the “it’s such a HASSLE!” or “it’s too cold out” or “I have no clean workout gear”.** That’s just bullshit. Excuses, and LAME excuses at that. It pisses me off that I keep giving in, and I can’t figure out WHY I do.

This weekend I had a HUGE conversation about it with my husband. He’s of the opinion that he needs to set goals he can’t reach, in order to push himself. As such, he was irritated with my goal for the 10k.*** I explained it to him like this:

This race is arguably bigger for me than his upcoming marathon is for him. When you take into account that he’s doing it because he likes to run, and I’m doing it to prove to myself that I CAN, that becomes fairly clear. The point of this race for me is to really prove that my body can still handle something this big, nearly 5 years after the accident. I set realistic goals because I NEED them to be achievable. If I set myself a work-hard-for-it goal and then don’t make it, I’m going to be devastated, not just disappointed.

It’s Fear. Big F, not little f. Bone deep. It’s the Fear of never again being able to do what I once was capable of. The accident didn’t kill me, but trying (once I was healed) to do basic steps and NOT being able to? That did.

It’s hard to explain the Fear. I don’t think many people really know that they haven’t experienced it. The closest I’ve ever felt was when my godson (at age 2) wandered off at the park, while our backs were turned for 10 seconds. The all-consuming terror of having lost a child, increased to it being YOUR child. Your whole world. You’re not scared that they’re gone, you’re terrified that you won’t get them back. I think THAT is what the Fear is like. My whole world, taken from me, and I don’t know I’ll be able to get it back. That’s about as well as I can put it into words.

I’m terrified of failing. Of having my body say “Nope, sorry, you had your chance.” And so, I don’t try. It’s so much easier to sit on the couch and watch a movie, or curl up with a book, and not risk failure. Not running means not having to dissect every twinge in my back, looking out for a bad reaction. It means not having to face the fact that maybe, just maybe, I CAN’T do this, no matter how badly I want to. It means protecting myself from the Fear.

And I’m sick of it. I need to get up, off my ass, and TRY. Seriously, how many times have you had to push yourself to do something, only to have it turn out to be great?*** Or pushed yourself to your limits and beyond, and seen just what amazing things you were capable of?  Sitting on the couch, disappointing myself (and my husband), gaining weight, because I’m SCARED is not going to get me there.

So, we begin again. 7 weeks out.

And when I cross that damn finish line, I’m going to find a quiet place, sit down, and sob. Becuase that medal won’t just be evidence of beating my injury, it’ll be evidence of beating the Fear. And … much like the parent who finds their child, and is overwhelmed with joy, and terror, and relief, and sadness for what could have been – all at once … all I’ll be able to do is cry.

I cannot wait for that day.


* Seriously, I’m broke. Buying new pants is NOT an option.

** Worst. Excuse. EVER.

*** My goal is to RUN 75% of the race, walk the remaining 25%. I think it’s doable. Maybe a run 3 – walk 1?

**** Kayaking in the rain was like that. Easier to say no, but WOW, what I would have missed.

5 Responses to “Workin’ It Out: Failure and The Fear”

  1. What do you need in pants these days? A medium? I will go to target and spend $15 on pants for you. Because you can do this. Recognizing the lame excuses is the first step towards overcoming them. Don’t waste time beating yourself up for the 3 weeks past. Just move forward, and each day that you are physically able to run — run. I have a book to send you too that may or may not help depending on how medically open-minded you are. But it did change my life, and Scott’s too (tho he’s less apt to admit it) in terms of how we relate to our body saying “no.”

    • Aw, sweets. Work pants, and yah, something like that. It’ll be ok … I can JUST BARELY button them, so I’m calling it motivation.

      I’m always up for helpful ideas. As for being open-minded medically … I’ve been to regular doctors, and even had one that perscribed marijuana, but the most help I’ve ever had for my back came from the friend who did a few sessions of Reiki (palm energy transfer) with me. So, yah, I’d call myself open. =)


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