The toughest part of your fitness journey is to keep going even when the times are tough. However, managing expectations and pushing through the pain, and moving on from failure is an important part of fitness. Even though everyone loves talking and reminiscing about the good times, the hard times are what defines you as an individual. Whether it’s dusting yourself off after an upset or doing the things that no one likes to do, you owe it to yourself to see things through.
First and foremost, understanding that failing every now and then is completely normal and an essential part of true progress. Learning what went wrong and how to improve as you move forward will make you a better and stronger person. Instead of beating yourself up over a failed competition or training cycle, look to incorporating the lessons you learnt into future endeavours. Negative emotions only serve as a form of discouragement. Keep your chin up, and your spirits high!
To keep your expectations in check, know what is within your control. Setting reasonable goals is just as important as putting your best foot forward in achieving them. Having a good attitude towards failure and being flexible with our methods and actions are just some of the factors that we can personally control. However, there are a plethora of conditions that exist without. For instance, external factors such as the weather conditions prior to a hike, sudden emergencies that prevents you from working out for a long period of time and more are not within your control. Circumstances like these may be unforeseeable, but you can put contingencies in place to mitigate the fallout.
Sustainability is another big issue that is sometimes glossed over in fitness. For instance, you may start of your journey by rediscovering your passion for distance running. As the months go on however, you will need to consider other ways to maintain the viability of such activities. After all, you can’t expect to just rely on increasing the durations of your runs as you progress. Consider securing external help like a professional coach or personal trainer to keep your progress in line. Not only will it make your journey easier, but it will also be more enjoyable.
Last but not least, always be aware of the things you don’t do. Taking distance running again as an example, flexibility and strength work often takes a back seat with most runners. While cardiovascular endurance is without a doubt the primary consideration in this instance, neglecting other aspects of athleticism will not only hamper progress, but may also set the stage for an injury further down the road. Every successful athlete starts off with a well-balanced foundation. Even if you don’t have any professional aspirations in your field, taking a holistic approach to your training can only result in sizeable dividends as far as health and performance is concerned.
Everyone goes slightly off-track from time to time; not even the best-laid of plans can avert that. However, restoring and maintaining your momentum will allow you continue doing what you love, while simultaneously adding to your appreciation of that fact. Press on, press hard and keep looking forward!