Some people may look at my life and think it’s charmed, and in many ways it is. I have an amazing family, three healthy children, a husband who loves me, devoted friends, and a beautiful home. I’m hugely grateful for all of my blessing, and that’s what gets me through some of the set backs I’ve had in my life. Life for me hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, like many people, I have taken the hard road, and life has thrown more than a few obstacles in my path.
This past week, just a few days before my second Boston Marathon, I found out that I have a Tibial Stress Fracture and last Friday one of my children fractured his wrist. Things have been building up, I was anxious an unsettled. My shin started to feel like more than just “Shin Splints,” more than just muscle aches. Deep down I knew something wasn’t right. The day my son fractured his wrist, I sensed that he shouldn’t get on his bike. That voice deep inside of me said, “something isn’t right.” People say “listen to your gut,” but when do you know the difference between overreacting and listening? Between freedom and paranoia?
For me, running is my way of tapping into my voice of reason – the strong, calm, parent-like voice who never fails me. Right now, I’m unable to run so I feel apprehensive and ambivalent. My choices feel erratic and emotional. This is when I rely heavily on my faith. I become like a vulnerable child who throws all of their trust into a Higher Power. That can be difficult for me to do… to relinquish control. But, there is also a sense of relief in accepting whatever life is about to throw at me.
Now that I’m not running, I need to learn to manage my stress in a whole new way. Running will be out of the questions for while. Like a child, I have spent the past few days mourning that loss, but the truth is that the more time I spend angry the more damage I am doing to myself and those around me. Accepting my circumstances not only gives me a tremendous amount of inner peace, it also makes me bomb proof. The less I allow the hard knocks to control me, the more power I have.
I’ve had enough dark times in my life that some may classify me as a victim, but I view myself as the exact opposite. I’m strong, not because I haven’t had anything happen to me. I’m strong because I have. That inner strength helps me embrace new and old challenges with the grace I need to pick myself up and keep trying.
I read the quote recently, “If you can take it, you can make it” by Peter Zamperini. If you don’t know story of his brother, you should read it right now. His human spirit and will is that of a living super hero. Having a life of set backs doesn’t mean that when new hardships arise they don’t hurt – it hurts the same now as it did when I was 8, 15 or 25. But now when something hits, me my spiritual core is much stronger so I don’t topple down as easily. That’s the thing: you can strengthen your physical body as much as you want, but if you don’t work on your spiritual tenacity, when it’s tested you’ll fall.
Just as we train for races and clean up diets, we must be disciplined enough to take the time each day to work on our souls. If not, when you’re met with emotional set backs, you won’t have the strength to stay upright.
[bctt tweet= “How to get through a emotional or physical set back #fitfluential #runchat”]
So how am I going to get through this set back? Here’s how….
- Have faith in the unknown – Personally, I believe in God, so this one is easy for me. I think of God as my parent. I trust Him and this makes my life much more peaceful. I am not here to judge you if this is not your belief, I am simply telling you what has worked for me in my life. Having faith in the unknown brings me a tremendous amount of comfort, calm, and strength.
- Relinquish control over things you can’t – You can’t control all aspects of your life and when you try to, it will only bring you and the people around you anxiety, disappointment, and stress. Identify what you can control as well as what you can’t. Know when to let it go and when to go the distance.
- Be confident that you can handle whatever life throws at you – We’ve all had hardships, some more than others, but remembering a time when you got through a difficult situation can give you the strength to get through another one. If you got through that, you’ll get through this.
- Don’t allow circumstances or people to have so much power over you – It would easy to dwell in anger or sadness over a challenge in your life, but why give it that much power? By allowing it hover in your mind you are throwing away your strength. Imagine that you’re a hockey player and your “set back” is the puck, every time you think of it, BLOCK IT for the win. You’re unstoppable!
- Don’t compare your life to others – My oath is “Under no circumstances will I ever compare any area of my life to someone else’s.” This is just a recipe for disaster. Every single time you compare it brings depression and diverts your attention to the work you need to get done in your life. There are some people who’s lives just look, and probably are, easy. Do whatever you have to do to not fall into the trap of wishing and wanting someone else’s reality– it’s a complete time suck and it steals your power.
- Stand up and keep trying – Try not to let the dark times define you. Pick yourself up and keep going. Establish new goals or continue what you were doing before you got sidelined. Anything good in life takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to achieve, don’t quit just because something takes too long, time will pass anyway, keep going one small step at a time.
Time passes and life is a series of ups and downs. I am extremely disappointed to have put in a tremendous amount of energy into my training only to have to back out of Boston just a few days before the race. But, I’ll get through this bump in the road and come out even stronger and wiser. I am already planning my come back. I need to take a break from social media for a few weeks and allow myself some time away, but I will be back, and I can already sense that when I do, I’ll be unstoppable.
How about you? Any set backs recently? How do you deal with them?
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