Have you ever planned on doing something that you ended up not doing? Maybe it was planning an event that you ultimately backed out of. Maybe it was a career shift you were too afraid to take.
Whatever the case may be, you ultimately made the decision to not do it.
Coming to this realization can be very difficult. It can make you feel like you failed or gave up. Until my most recent personal experience, I might have agreed with that mentality. But now I believe that you must listen to that gut instinct, that little voice that is clearly articulating what you should do.
Back in March I decided that I wanted to run my second marathon. I thought it'd be a unique experience training over the summer since for my previous race I was dodging snow banks and black ice. I wake up at 5AM for work daily, so getting early AM runs in before sunrise wouldn't be a problem. Ideally I wanted to run Chicago, but after seeing it was sold out I registered for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 17th.
Two of my blends, Shannon and Mel ran it last year, so I had some sounding boards when it came to analyzing the routes. That was that. I registered, printed out my running/mileage schedule and committed myself to my second marathon.
About 5 weeks into my training I realized I was modifying my weekly runs... a lot. Although only about 6-8 miles during the work week, I also had to factor in teaching Spin, Bootcamp as well as my own lifts. The desire to get out there and pound the pavement was lacking.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't for lack of 'working out interest'. Instead of running I was going to yoga, bootcamps, trying out new lifting programs, you name it! It was a pure lack of passion for running itself. I didn't want to find routes to run. I didn't want to dedicate the time for all of the pre, during and post run stuff.
I just didn't.
So after about 3 weeks of beating myself up, I said no more. Yes, my bib number is already paid for. And no I can't push it to next year.
But for me, pressuring myself to train through this lack of passion would be way worse.
So instead of viewing this as a failure, I am refocusing my time and energy on new goals... Possibly...
- a powerlifting lifting competition?
- a bikini/figure competition?
- getting certified to teach Aqua fitness?
There is so much out there to be a part of, that I'm happy to not waste my time doing something my heart's not in.
So whether or not I jump back on the marathon train (I've still got 2.5 months to decide!), I'm feeling lighter now that the pressure is off. So here is my little philosophical nugget that I'm hoping can apply to many aspects of life.
Trust your gut. Rarely will this lead you wrong. Deep down we always know the right answer, but most times it's about trusting ourselves enough to follow through with the action. Don't beat yourself up about it. Don't think of yourself as a failure.
Do instead recognize the countless possibilities you will be able to discover.
It is out of these opportunities that you will gain happiness and fulfillment.
And at the end of the day that's what we crave, isn't it?