Afraid to fail? Lessons to be learned....
Tilburg Ladies Run, 10km. My first “running” race in years...and not one to be proud of: I failed to listen to my body.
Which lesson to be learned? Am I afraid to fail? Afraid to not living up to expectations? Who’s expectations? My own....
Here I am, in the garden with a bag of ice on my foot. What happened?
All week I was looking forward to it. Curious and excited to join a race again. During the last weeks I enjoyed the running a lot and I felt like flying during training. This morning after breakfast I felt a little nervous. I immediately recognized the “old” feeling: “I have to....”. Luckily I could rather easily get rid of the nerves; breathing and mindset are key. Long deep breathing, my body relaxes and my mind telling my nerves system there is nothing to worry about. No pressure, just a run. More important, feel connected and let it happen.
I talked with Bart about my goal: enjoy running without getting injured. Reflecting on how this adventure started early 2019: I would like to complete a full triathlon based on inner strength, mindset, breath and NOT by PUSHING myself over the edge. This is what I’ve done too much in the past. During the last months, the training felt super. I easily run 30km a week: all on 5-fingers or skinners (i.e. “barefoot”). In the intervals I surprised myself on the speed I managed. I could listen to my body, was enjoying all of it and felt extremely energized and happy. Also I realized, the more I sport, the more relaxed I felt. The more I could live in the moment. Less hurried. More aware, more connected. Furthermore, no pain, no signals from my body I was pushing too much: I was feeling strong, both mentally and physically.
So what went wrong today?
To be honest, I still don’t know exactly at this stage. The only thing I recognize: everything happens for a reason....
A little recap of the race:
I felt energized at the start and the first few kilometers I felt strong. Smiling from ear to ear, absorbing all the music, cheering and positive vibes from the public and my breath was fully under control. I was running in a small group and briefly talked to the girls: “good pace, nice team”. All at once after about 4 km I felt a small stingy pain. Auwh. Holding back, slowing down. Do I need to stop? And all the voices in my head started to chit-chat. What to do? Can I stop? What do I feel? Step 1: sending healing to my foot. The mantra RaMaDaSaSaSeSoHung. Slowing down, continue to mentally chant. Is it really pain or it something small? Looking back, I knew deep inside it was a real pain. Clearly, I should have stopped. However, my mind is strong. Too strong? The chanting seemed to help, the pain became less, I decide to continue. Smile again I tell myself. Smile, enjoy, and run light, smooth and easy....relax the upper body, follow the flow. I still felt my foot, but it became less. A girl passed and I could join again, pacing up. Slowly I saw the girls I joined in the beginning. This energized me again, I catcher up and felt I could even speed up. I encouraged them to keep up with me, to focus on their breathing and to catch the girls in front of us. Soon I realized I have even more energy and continued to speed up during the last 2 km. As I slowed down during the race, conditionally I had much left. The adrenaline, the happy public and my mindset made me “forget” my foot and I even had quite a sprint at the end. First response: not as fast as I could, but I made it and the time is sufficient for an invite for the “zevenheuvelenloop”. One second later, ok, I need to find ice for my foot... and that moment a heavy feeling entered my entire body. What did I do? Why did I not stop?
Questions that still cross my mind. Was I afraid to step out? To fail? Not live up to expectations? Is that the lesson I still need to learn? On a deep deep level?? Is this such an old pattern, my old mechanism to survive? A strength of mine, not giving up, going for that extra mile. It brought me so many beautiful things. However, with all strengths, if it is out of balance, it is a great weakness. I felt pain, and did not listen to it. I injured myself. Did it became worse because I continued? I don’t know.
It doesn’t matter anymore. I cannot change the situation anymore. I did what I did. It is at is...
The only thing I can do now:
- Send lots of love and healing to my foot to contribute to fast and proper healing.
- Listen to the lessons that will pop up....
Furthermore, I accept the disappointment. It relieved to cry and feel the intense support from Bart. I am allowed to make a mistake. I feel the lesson learned. The physical injury is one thing. The disappointment of not being able to listen to my body is more difficult. Much more difficult. And thereby I realize: a much greater lesson probably.
Probably many more insights will follow. For now, rest and feel connected again.