Sunday, 18 July 2010

The prize of failure

success and satisfaction.
Even failure has its prize:
From the one who's on his way out,
To the one on her way in."

My dad wrote this to me, on the cover of a book he sent me after I moved to England in '96. I was only 15 and I honestly did not remember these words until I found the book again, with the recent move. I did not remember them, yet I have lived every day of my life by them. He is with me in everything I do, in my spirit, in my values, in my way of thinking.

I have felt like I have been letting him down lately. I have felt very low and every day, robbed of pleasures, has become a struggle. The pact I made with myself (and Duncan) when my dad died, to live every day to the full, to take "fishing days", sounds hollow now. Yesterday I had trouble getting out of bed or getting motivated to perform even small tasks like eating. That was yesterday...

Today I am back. I am refocusing. I am drawing up new goals, or looking again at the old ones in a new light. As in a race, when something goes wrong, but also in training and in life, to refocus is to start afresh. To not worry about what has been but to ask of yourself: "How can I best go forward from now on?". Here is an interesting article on it from the Podium Sports Journal. It is more about refocusing on the spot, during competition, but it should be clear how it transfers to other down-time too.

I am doing this, as of now. I am concentrating on good quality workouts to get me back on track, eating well (which seems to be much easier in the summer - is it the abundance of fresh produce, or is it the abundance of time to prepare healthy meals?), revisiting Pilates systematically, spending a little less time on miles and a little more on balance, technique, stability. And trying to start enjoying it again. Finding new trails for running, catching up with old episodes of my favourite series on the trainer, listening to IMtalk ( and getting out on the mountain bike are all helping me keep it fun.

Behind each difficulty there is a prize, even if it's just the knowledge that you have the skills to overcome difficulties, refocus and go on.

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