Thinking Out Loud: Setting Goals + The Good Living

I’m linking up with Running with Spoons again for Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for hosting, Amanda!

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I purchased the latest copy of Runner’s World at the grocery store a few days ago and snuck it into my purse last minute today to read on the metro train. On this rare occasion, I managed to snag a seat right away and flipped right to “No Pity: It Takes a Lot of Courage to Run a Sucky Race,” by Lauren Fleshman.

I love Lauren Fleshman. I own her running journal, follow her journey on Instagram + her blog and have been eyeing Picky Bars at my local running store for a while now. So, happy with my decision, I began to read and proceeded to get teary and impassioned on the train, squeezed between my work bag and the person next to me, because her story and writing can do that.

Lauren described pushing through doubt, facing failure head on in the wake of big goals, and embracing how important it is to try anyway during the 2012 Olympic Trials. I won’t rewrite the whole article, but it forced me reflect on my own personal courage (the decision to run and choose a goal), ego (when I was nervous to run outside in public), and the act of carrying on even when I think I’m failing (skipping runs, getting injured).

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On the fear of failing in a very public way and feeling sorry for herself well in advance of any failure, Lauren wrote:

“I would think, This is the very thing that holds people back from trying things. From having experiences. This fear that failing makes you a failure. In our core, we want to believe that trying matters, regardless of the outcome. That having the courage to see things through to their mysterious ends is worthwhile. That fighting well with what you have is enough.”

I can’t count the number of times I was nervous to tell people I started running or training for a race because I was afraid that I would fail. What if they asked how it was going, and I’d given up?! And, you know what, those moments did happen. I tried to train for the Navy Air Force 5 Miler last fall, and I got hurt. I tried training for later races, and I still wasn’t healthy enough to try. It sucked to admit that I couldn’t run, but they passed. I’m sure I cared much more about my answer than the people kind enough to ask about my training did. I also didn’t give up. I failed, but I didn’t give up.

Ultimately, beginning to run and seeing it through to the end (which you know, isn’t one race, but hopefully a lifetime of running), is a grand ‘ol adventure. Trying is enough. Seeing things through to that mysterious end is worth it. Fighting with what I have is enough.

“…the reason we set big goals is not to achieve them, but to set ourselves on a road trip toward them, and that trip is where all the good loving is.”

Do you agree? Did you get a chance to read the article?

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