You know the feeling. You snoozed, you overslept, you sat down, you pushed it off – however it happened, you gave yourself the tiniest bit of permission to miss your workout. And now you feel terrible. Because you didn’t really, fully give yourself permission. Instead, you sort of put yourself in workout purgatory.
I was talking to a single guy on my tri team recently – he told me he’d been 100% compliant with our workouts. “100%?” I asked him, not believing that in 6 months he’d executed every workout as instructed. “100%,” he assured me.
Naturally, and in true female / Kate form, I started to beat myself up, I hadn’t even been close to 100% compliant. Of course, he was quick to offer excuses for me – my life is complicated. I have kids. Yes, yes, yes, but still!
I sat on those negative feelings about myself for a while.
Later that weekend I completed my first 100 mile bike ride. I cycled 2 days in a row, the second on tired legs, ran a half marathon & swam 3.1 miles. Were all of those done as fast as they would have been if I was 100% compliant with the training plan? Likely not. But, my gosh, look how far I’d come. A few short months ago, I had legitimate anxiety going to swim practice (in a pool). I was just getting used to my tri bike – a 100 mile ride seemed unfathomable. I was proud of myself. I felt strong, powerful, and capable.
Those questioning feelings about my training shrunk away in the background. I was doing my absolute best given what I had on my plate.
Just this morning, I was supposed to go to swim practice at 5am. I was in bed by 10pm last night. My mind was wandering. 11pm… midnight… the hours were ticking by and I was still awake. I got a snack and moved to the couch. 1am, still awake. I decided at that moment that swimming would have to wait. I slept til 7am without interruption. I needed it. And the best part about the whole ordeal is that I didn’t beat myself up over it or tell myself I needed to sneak it in elsewhere in my training. I just let it go.
We are all doing our best. I’m going through a period where training is front and center, but sometimes, for good reason, training isn’t the first, second or third priority in our lives. I always cringe when I see moms with a newborn pressuring themselves to begin training ASAP – I cringe because on one hand, I can relate, but also, those moments are precious, too precious to be preoccupied with negative feelings about one’s body or guilt for being inactive.
Most of us expect a lot from ourselves – to be loving mothers, supportive partners, attractive, fashionable, successful in our chosen profession, keep the household running… the list varies for each of us, but it usually goes on and on. And it’s almost always too much!
The number one thing we can do, which will help us achieve all of our goals in the long-term, is to shower ourselves with love and compassion. That means that sometimes it is advisable to eat cake, sleep in or miss a workout.
All my best,