You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you – Lisa Kleypas
My last hurdle race of the season was July 31st at Commonwealth Games. Without going into too much detail…it sucked! Hit hurdles, saw my life flash before my eyes in slow motion, crossed the line in my slowest time all year, but hey shit happens right? It’s funny because it was actually a very fitting finish to my season. A season where I felt like I had a lot of great things in place towards running fast but somehow kept hitting roadblocks. A season, where to say there were ups and downs would be an understatement. If I thought my 2013 season was difficult, my 2014 season figured it could outdo that. They were challenging for very different reasons. 2014 proved to be mentally stressful mainly because of my expectations. After 8 months of rehab, being the strongest and most efficient I ever been, the next logical step in my mind was to immediately be knocking on 12.3’s door.
Hello 12.3! Here I come!!!
Well 12.3 never answered.
Dang 12.9 wouldn’t even answer.
Needless to say it was a frustrating year. But quite honestly I wasn’t being fair with myself. I could have saved myself the high cortisol levels and sleepless nights if I simply evaluated the situation from a different perspective. I had a number of things added to the equation this year that made it extremely difficult to equal high performance. If I was to compare this year to my previous successful years, the differences are clear, yet I expected even greater performances. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying not to dream big or to expect less from yourself. I will forever be an advocate of setting your goals high. I’m saying just don’t shoot yourself when things don’t pan out as smoothly as you would have liked. It’s okay to be in a process and working towards something. We harp on the outcome we want, and nearly kill ourselves in the meantime. I’m as guilty as any. I’m literally the definition of a Type A personality, controlling and forever striving towards perfection. In terms of achievement I often see things in black and white: Go Big or Go Home. This year before I started walking home, had I taken a brief moment to look back at how far I’ve come, I would have gained much better insight. Sometimes allowing yourself to celebrate your small victories can make all the difference. Embrace the process and understand it may not come in the time you outlined. Someone told me this year that I need to learn to be more like water. What does water do when it approaches an obstacle in its path? It doesn’t fret, it simply flows around and continues on its way. It might take longer, but its gets to the other side.
My expectations of myself were not the only weight on my shoulders. Truthfully, I was consumed by what others would think of me. After all, I’m an Olympic finalist, that’s running 13.00?!?! That must be a typo right? I was embarrassed after pretty much every race I ran. And my mind would wander to what others were saying about me, putting an unnecessary stress on my self to run fast.
Pride can be a bitch.
I got to a place where I HAD to run fast. I HAD to prove myself. And Why? Because of what some people may or may not have been saying about me. I started chasing an unattainable perfection that can only spell doom. In reality what other think of me is none of my business. And what anyone has to say about your life from the outside looking in, has no idea about what going. So who cares about their uninformed opinions? Trust me, I know that easier said than done. But having the utmost confidence in your own personal process is the key.
There is a very delicate balance between being focused and overthinking. I’ve currently recommitted myself to an imperfect perfection. My desire to attain my goals in track are at an all time high, coupled with an even greater desire to put in the work to get there. I’m striving to be the best that I can be, while giving myself the chance to get up from the inevitable stumbles I will encounter. Harping on every negative that happens and overanalyzing every situation won’t help me get closer to my dreams. The upcoming season promises to be demanding and strenuous. I couldn’t be more excited to tackle it head-on. It may not be flawless but like Golidlocks said, it’ll be just right.
Until next time,