I’m only going to hit one of my two goals for 2019. That hurts. And on the surface it feels like failure, wrapped up in a package with a bow on top. Nice try, but….so here I am near Thanksgiving 2019 knowing I can’t hit it.
For the past 10 years or so I’ve set a goal(s). It usually focused on crossing a finish line – literally. Like, doing an Olympic distance triathlon as an example. Or completing the 1.2 mile swim leg of the Ironman 70.3 in Raleigh. Both of which I’ve accomplished, but they were goals with a one-day-finish-line. It took discipline, time, and commitment to cross the line and I’m still really proud of those goals. But the big goal I set for this year was HUGE and very different.
The unreachable goal for 2019 was to exercise every single day. I was on track for months! I got to 127 days straight. And then I got sick. And job stress. And sleep challenges. And life hijacked my goal. I was so pissed at myself to realize that instantly my goal was crushed. There’s no time machine to go back and do the thing you meant to do. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be a big stretch. But I really did think I could do it. And I had no plan-B for “what if” I couldn’t do it. This goal was much more intense than any others I had created for myself. A realistic version would have been to exercise 6 days a week. (Hind-sight is crystal clear, right?) Maybe I could have hit that and been in a different place here in the year, near Thanksgiving. Woulda’ coulda’ shoulda’ is a real thing.
The absence of hitting that goal was actually the best thing that happened to me this year! The summer made me reset, refocus, and really think about what I was trying to get out of that goal. What else was I looking for besides the consistency and discipline of setting a big, nearly unattainable goal? I was really looking to rekindle my love for exercise, for taking care of myself, and the great endorphin rush that comes from a great workout. Shoulder injuries took me out of the game for quite a while and I was trying to get back to that part of myself that I love. My goal of daily exercise was really just a vehicle to get to where I wanted to be, and it really wasn’t about the goal at all. In trying to figure this part of myself out, I found Camp Gladiator and Trainer Amy. Trust me, I thought it was crazy to see a bunch of people working out in parking lots in the dark. (Maybe that’s true!)
This week I hit 100 check-ins. It took me forever to get to 50, but from 50 to 100 it’s been quick, intentional, and with much purpose. It’s something I did not think I would love. I wasn’t sure it really “fit” my personality and my tendency to being more of an introvert as I get older (wiser). I also didn’t think I really needed the social accountability. Most of my previous triathlon days were done solo and I loved the quiet of following the dark line in the pool, or a longer bike ride. But there’s been something about CG (Camp Gladiator) that has spoken to me in a way I didn’t expect. Amy has helped me heal my shoulder and helped me take care of myself in a way I had not focused on for a while. Some workouts are incredibly hard, and some workouts are more moderate. Outside workouts are always better than inside. There’s something powerful about seeing the moon, big dipper, or a pink sunrise around 6:30am knowing that most people didn’t do what you just did. It’s a deep connection to both nature and community. CG has a slogan, Better Together – and it’s so true! The workouts are always challenging and I feel like Beyonce on stage in the wind when I’m finished. Not a bad way to start the morning.
I did hit one of my two goals this year. As a family, we made a goal to visit 12 new-to-us parks in 2019. (#12parksin2019 on Instagram). We exceeded that goal! We hit the first 6 pretty fast, but had to look for another 6 with a little more purpose. It was a fun family project and much easier to manage than my other goal. Sometimes gifts come in packages disguised as failure. I’m really glad I didn’t hit my original big goal and was able to look at it from a different perspective. I was so excited to hit 100 check-ins this week at 5:30am!! My natural inclination towards a growth mindset allows me to see this “failure” as a huge success. What are your “failures” in 2019?