On Sunday my training program was a long run – 12 km along the Coast from Scarborough to Hillarys and back. I woke to every muscle in my body aching. A run was the last thing I felt like doing.
I was at a decision-point. I had options – we all do. I could stay in bed or I could silence the aches and pains and get on with it. I made my choice and eventually summoned the will to drag myself outside to start the session.
I had just returned from my race in Melbourne and it had been an intense week of training. I knew I was tired and distracted. Not concentrating while running is not a good idea, especially for me! Despite knowing this only minutes later I tripped. I managed to catch myself with both hands and narrowly avoided smacking my face into the ground. People nearby gasped; it wasn’t a pretty sight. I don’t fall gracefully. But, I picked myself up and continued running.
About a kilometre later I felt the toe of my blade clip the ground. This time I wasn’t so lucky and landed flat on my face again in front of a new group of onlookers. It’s still a little embarrassing every time I stack it even though I’ve done it 100’s of times and people kinda freeze in shock not quite sure what the correct response is.
I was at another decision-point. The easy option was pack up and go home. But it’s what I did next that matters most. You see, one of my greatest strengths is my stubbornness. I never take the easy option and I just don’t know how to quit. So, I collected my thoughts, centred myself – physically and mentally – and started running again.
I ended up tripping myself a total of five times that day. Each time becoming more frustrated and furious. But, I got back up six times and finished the 12 km run.
Even a bad day counts.
Falling is frustrating and it can hurt. And, you don’t need to be running to fall or stumble, it can happen anywhere, anytime. It can happen at home, at work or in between. It can impact family, friends, colleagues, strangers or just ourselves. But falling doesn’t have to be negative.
I truly believe falling is part of the journey. Own it. But then let it go. The fall shouldn’t be the focus. What you choose to do next, is. Whatever happens, it’s only a setback if you quit. Pick yourself up and keep going because there is no better way to prepare for tomorrow – the next fall but also the next success – than to challenge yourself today.
You can either make excuses or you can find a way to pick yourself up and keep going. I choose the latter.
It is what you do next that matters most.