Accepting Imperfection

7033789-snow-sunset

One of my training goal is to be able to run 5 km in less than 20 minutes before the end of 2016.

I like a lot the idea of this goal. During the day, I would already imagine my legs powering me forward, the wind flowing, and the constant battle against the watch. I was already eager on sharing my success everywhere.

Recently, it started snowing. Sidewalks become a sliding game, shoes become soggy and fingers are frozen. And what was once beautiful green trails become cold, dark and snow paths like above. Result: I loose half of my speed!

Since I do not have access to an indoor track, it is demoralizing to think that I will not be able to reach my fitness goal.

Will I stop exercise?

NO!

Often, we are looking for perfection. When conditions are not perfect, we procastrinate, day after day. In my case, I am tempted by distractions, talk to others, go watch TV, or anything else just to avoid the idea that I would not be able to reach the high reaching goal I set to myself.

This is not just in exercise. Weight management, travel, work, hobbies, relationships. I often find big gaps between reality and the ultimate goal, which distracts further. I would spend hours, days, weeks in this state if I don’t remember what I learnt.

What I learnt

I learnt that perfection does not exist in this world. We live in a frail body. We are surrounded by imperfection, be it human, animal or environment. We are imposed different conditions that we can’t do anything about. When reading about a champion in a glossy magazine, or watching superhero movies, we often forget about this. You simply cannot have perfection in this world.

I learnt also constant slow work prevails. In my case, I should be tempted by “miracle pills” or other supplements that would let me boost dramatically my fitness levels. We like to believe in miracle techniques or methods that catapults us on another level. But like the tale of the tortoise and the hare, constant honest work, day after day, will get you there more surely than miracle pills.

In my case, I remember this and I will be training, week after week, with a smile. I’m ok if roads are covered with snow. I can’t do anything about it. But I will give my best, at every step, to finish 5km in less than 20mn. Even if I do not reach it, I will be satisfied, knowing that I did my best. And eventually, I will get there. The most important is to continue.

So my advice is :

Have a goal but don’t overthink it. Do your best. If you can improve, improve at every step. Otherwise… just do it! I promise, eventually, you will get there.

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