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Dealing with Failure


Dealing with Failure

I’m still running these days. I run just over 3 miles each day Monday through Friday and over 5 miles each day Saturday and Sunday. At lunch, I do 20-30 minutes of strength training. I LOVE the Nike app since the workouts are FREE and I can sort by how much energy I’m feeling that day. Easy? Intermediate? Difficult? Sure!

I’ve mentioned it before (repeatedly) that I exercise to keep my thoughts under control. It’s in those moments when I’m focusing on keeping my form or setting new personal records that I can ignore the craziness. Even then, do something long enough and it becomes routine. Your body adjusts and it’s not hard anymore. You have this false sense that you are in great shape because the workouts you’ve been doing for ages aren’t nearly as difficult as when you first started.

Our neighbor has a gym in their garage. Literally. A very nice gym. They had picked up our mail for us over the weekend while we were on a camping trip and we started to chat about his home gym. “That’s a nice elliptical,” I said. “Hop on! Try it out!” he said.

I lasted 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Seriously. My heart rate shot sky high and I thought I was going to die. Our neighbors couldn’t stop laughing.

“If it makes you feel any better, I can’t run to the end of the block!” he said, still laughing.

I walked home, embarrassed by my overconfidence in my fitness level. As I got in bed that night, I couldn’t sleep. I run! How can I not do something as simple as an elliptical?!?! It’s the SAME movement!

The more I reflected, the more I realized that it’s the same…but different. Which makes it frustrating because I expected myself to perform well when it wasn’t something my body could do yet. I work out so I assumed that I have the strength in my muscles for the job.

I don’t.

I’m trying to lead at work during a pandemic. I’m making mistakes. I’m getting frustrated with myself, with my failure.

I’m trying to work at home for an extended period while keeping my personal space separate from my workspace physically and emotionally. I’m failing.

I’m trying to keep my emotions at bay while trapped at home when I’ve spent most of my life outside work hours outdoors. I’m failing.

I’ve been great with my finances solidly since 2017 and the last few months I keep tripping. I keep making mistakes. Spending when that’s not what I usually do. I’m failing.

Friends, I’m failing. But these are muscles I’ve never used before. I can’t expect them to perform at a high level on the first try. Things that I’m normally awesome at… yeah, I’m going to suck for a while.

But I’m getting stronger. You are too.

The night after the elliptical debacle, I didn’t sleep. I reflected. In March, I was a COMPLETE disaster. In April, I was MOSTLY a disaster. May, just a disaster. June? I’ve had some rough weeks including the week from hell. But if those weeks had happened in March, the devastation would have been so much worse.

My daughter is walking around the house as I’m writing this singing ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry. It made me smile. She’s been listening to me sing it as I run and she bikes beside me. She looked at me and said, “That’s your favorite song right mommy?”

“Right now? Yeah, baby girl. Mommy is going to Roar…”


  • Reply JP |

    Well it sure doesn’t sound like you are failing. You are probably like me and tend to look at the things that are not going right and not thinking enough about the things that are going right!

    Here is what helped me. You know I’m a pretty good Dad. I’m still married and I like the person I’m married to. I’m not broke and we eat fine at every meal. I’m healthy. I can ride my bike and work out, and I have friends. You are healthy and you can work out, and you have a great kid!

    No not much failure, just in your thoughts. Just change your thinking. Be grateful for things you don’t even think about, your health, your vision, your family, a million things. You can always get more money.


    • Reply Beks |

      This is so true! I focus A LOT on my failures. I’m a perfectionist. I miss a lot of the things I’m doing right.

So, what do you think ?