For the past three and a half years, I have been a cross-country and long distance track runner. Running is basically all I know how to do well, sport wise. I can throw a baseball, play soccer, and fumble my way through other sports, but I for sure do not excel at them. Running, for me, is and was an escape, and it was something I was good at.
Unfortunately, I was too strong-willed and stubborn and made decisions that got me injured both at the end of my sophomore and junior year. Sophomore year, I ran through a stress fracture and at the end of season had to take two months off. Junior year, I injured my back before season even started. I was out for five and a half months. I learned a ton from these injuries, but that is a long story for another post.
Last Tuesday, I stopped running on cross-country and long distance track. It was a huge step for me, because my team had become my family and my whole friend base. Going into high school, I knew three people in the entire 3,650 student body. Basically, I knew no one. But once I joined cross-country, I knew and was friends over 200 people.
This post isn’t going to be what you think: a memory filled, sob story. It’s about what I learned in the week after stopping. Now, I didn’t stop entirely, I just moved events. It feels like I am on a whole new team, playing a whole new sport, because I don’t practice with my old teammates anymore, but I’m still on the track team and so are they. The only difference is now I’m a jumper and not a distance runner. I choose to change events because my body couldn’t handle the high mileage of distance running any longer and it needed a break, but I wasn’t ready to give up all together.
This past week, I re-learned that one must fail in order for greatness to appear. I failed on so many levels this week, but its okay because it is part of the curve of learning something new. I had fun failing! Now, think about it, how many people can say that?
My favorite failure by far has to be weight room. Distance runners at my school DO NOT lift any weights. Picture the most scrawny arms you can imagine, got the image? This week I failed at chin ups, dips, power cleans, and basically anything that we did that involved upper body strength.
We were doing chin ups from a dead hang (straight arms while hanging on to the bar). We had a bungee to put one leg in and my friend had just flown through her sets, so I figured it couldn’t be that hard right? Boy, was I wrong. It took every ounce of concentration I had to pull my body up an inch from where it started. And I still had at least a foot to go to even be near the bar. Talk about weak and embarrassing.
Failing was fun this week, because I am challenging myself to do new things and break out of my comfort zone. I look forward to the days when I have learned enough so I no longer fail everyday, but for now I’m okay and enjoying my failures. What about you? How are you challenging yourself and enjoying the “failing” that comes with it?