• Whitney

On succeeding (or failing) at goals


Over the past several years, I've been in an ongoing argument with my body about whether or not I'm a runner. Nearly 30 years of experience told me I was not, never would be, just couldn't. But there was a nagging other voice that had something to prove.

At 25, I ran my first 5k. Then I did another. And I tore a ligament in my ankle (unrelated to running, I'm just clumsy). And so I recovered. And then ran another.

By this point in time, I was a pretty steady slow runner. I hated running still, but I was making myself do it.

When I learned about the Crystal City 5ks - a 5k run every Friday for the entire month of April - I convinced myself (and my husband) that it'd be a fun weekly activity. I even went so far as to make it one of my goals for the quarter.

First run went well. No time improvement, but I felt good being out there despite of pouring rain.

Second run went even better! Slight time improvement, but it was sunny and crisp and felt like this whole thing might go well.

Third run hit after a particularly horrible week. Everything was going wrong. So I skipped it. I thought I'd failed.

But the fourth run I got back out there. And it was fine. Nothing spectacular, but I was there.

So does it really count as a failure? I ran more than I would have that month without the races. I enjoyed most of that time. I pushed myself, and I felt better for it. Part of learning self-care is learning to forgive the failures on the way to success.


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