Saturday, March 28, 2015

Freedom to Fail

The last few weeks have been challenging.  The weather makes it almost impossible to get out and workout. I've been able to get a few outside runs in, but cycling is a no-go.  I've been doing all my workouts on the trainer and was starting to get major burn out.  Yeah, I whined quite a bit about it (ok, ok, a hell of a lot) because I perceived the quality of my workouts as going downhill. I was having trouble with hitting my goals for the workout. I kept putting pressure on myself because I so desperately want to be better than I am right now. I was hearing people around me stating how much better they were getting, but I just didn't see that in myself. I was hitting what I perceived to be a ceiling in my workouts. No matter what Danielle tried to tell me, I just couldn't hear it.

This week was a recovery week and it gave me a chance to step back and look at the last few weeks. I was still doing all workouts as written (except one because I revolted that day and refused to do anything) and hitting the prescribed power/speed ranges.  With the recovery time, I get more time to read and research. I loaned one of my books to a US Marine patient and we talked at length during his treatment about it. We talked about failure and what does that mean. We look at failure as a bad thing, something we want to avoid. Success is what we are all striving for and what is rewarded.  For me, it is improving as a PT and an athlete. But we have to get somewhat comfortable with the idea of failure.

The 'freedom to fail' is quite a liberating concept. We learn most about ourselves and/or our processes when we fail - provided you actually sit down and analyze it.  Why did you fail? What did you miss? What could have been done better? The other BIG component is - why are you afraid to fail?  So what if you do? The sun will still rise the next morning and set the next evening. Learn from what went wrong and push forward.  Success isn't a perfect linear progression. There will be setbacks. It's what you do or how you react during that setback that will define your success. Take the time to learn from it and move forward.

I decided I can't get hung up on seeing things as a failure. If I don't get a diagnosis 100% right, I can follow up at the next visit and adjust. If I miss my training goal for a workout, I can look at why it happened and correct it if I can. Sometimes fatigue happens or it's just not my day. I need to move on from it and not get caught in an endless loop of worry.

As long as I can learn from it, I can't be afraid to fail anymore.  It's not just about getting 
to the top of the mountain, it's what did you bring with you on the way down. It's the
lessons you learn along the way and how you use those lessons to be better.

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