As most of you know, I am a Beachbody Coach which means that I sell Beachbody products such as P90X, Insanity and Shakeology, but it also means that I have a few “coachees” as well as random blog readers who email me asking for advice and help on achieving their fitness goals using Beachbody products. One coachee in particular and I have emailed back and forth several times after she was interested in coaching on using P90X while also training for a half marathon. She did run that half marathon in June and I hadn’t heard from her in a while when she reached out to me via email to confess that she had felt like she had fallen off the wagon. She expressed that she was pursuing a career in fitness/nutrition and she felt like she had no right to be giving these people advice she she couldn’t follow it herself.
It took me some time to think about how to respond to her email and I spoke with Mike a little about it. His response was “it’s all about moderation.” It’s true. No one is perfect – no one has the perfect workout routine or diet. I often struggle with my own desire for perfection – in my training, diet, career and most things I touch. I want to be the best friend, the best girlfriend/fiance/wife, the best runner, the best yogi, the best wedding planner, the best pilates student, the best employee…the list goes on. But let’s face it, it’s impossible to be the best at everything and honestly it’s quite hard to be the best at even one thing. Just as I advised my Beachbody coachee to be a little less hard on herself and just try to be consistent in her actions and not worry about the times she messes up, I need to heed my own advice. I need to not care about being the best and just try to do the best I can.
I could definitely dive into a lot of areas in which I put pressure on myself to be the best but for the sake of this blog, the most relevant area is in the world of fitness. I’m slowly learning that although there are those seemingly “freak” athletes who are just darn good at everything, it’s rare for anyone to PR every single running race while podiuming at every triathlon while deadlifting 200 lbs while being able to get barreled on a surf board and being able to do the splits in yoga class.You just can’t be good at everything all at the same time.
After my failed attempt at a BQ at both the Eugene Marathon and OC Marathon, I put running on the back burner and decided to focus on wedding planning and much needed strength training after taking about a year and a half off from consistent weight lifting during Ironman and marathon training. And for that reason, my running speed has suffered a a bit and I didn’t PR at the 15k on 4th of July and I probably (definitely) won’t PR at the AFC half marathon in a few weeks. Although a big part of me is totally ok with this, a small part of me is disappointed that I’m not able to miraculously maintain peak running speed through the summer. Part of me fears that this lost (running) fitness will cause me to fail to BQ again next year. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I need to work on accepting that the much needed mental and physical break from hardcore marathon training I’m taking right now is going to benefit me in the long run, not hurt me.
I’m not perfect. I trained hard to qualify for Boston this year and I didn’t qualify. There were a lot of reasons why not, and I know that part of those reasons where things I could have prevented and others I couldn’t have. A big reason was letting my mind work too hard and stressing myself out. My mind sabotaged my race far more than my body did.
I’ve got work to do physically to be a better athlete but I’ve got more work to do in my mind. I am not perfect and that’s ok. I don’t always eat non-processed, organic, and vegan but I do most of the time. I don’t always hit every training goal, but I do most of the time. I don’t always push my hardest in workouts, but I do most of the time. Even if some weeks I don’t do all of the above most of the time, it’s going to be ok because most weeks I do. The goal isn’t perfection, it’s consistency. And if sometimes I fail to achieve big goals, that’s ok too – as I learned with the overwhelming responses to my Eugene DNF and OC Marathon BQ fail, everyone has been there. Brushing yourself off after failure, learning from the attempt and moving on is what matters.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? How do you handle it when you don’t achieve goals you set out for yourself?