I Am Still Alive but I Cannot Say the Same for the February Exercise Challenge

Oh my.  It’s March already?  How did that happen?  Where have I been?

I guess things have been a bit busier than I anticipated.  I just logged on and discovered that I have an incomplete draft that I started writing on February 20 and have not touched since then.  And I honestly don’t think I’ve actually logged on to WordPress since then.

Needless to say, the February exercise challenge kinda fell apart.  Am I disappointed?  Yes.  After my success with the food cleanse in January, I really was optimistic about my self-imposed daily exercise goal.  Am I embarrassed?  Yes.  Failure in itself doesn’t bother me too much, but I’m not crazy about other people knowing when I mess up.  Am I upset, though?  Not really.  First of all, I think it’s a healthy experience to openly fail at something and not be horribly traumatized it.  Sure, it makes me cringe a little bit to admit that I am not awesome everything I attempt, but I trust that none of my dear readers are going to leave comments that kick me while I’m down.   The same way that phobias can be extinguished by having positive experiences with a stimulus (or the thing someone is afraid of, for you non-psychology majors), failing in front of others with no terrible consequences will help encourage me to continue to take risks in the future.

There is a second reason why I am not completely torn up about this. I don’t exactly see it as failure.

One of my biggest challenges is doing enough that I feel productive at the end of the day and historically there have been a lot of times when this doesn’t happen.  I will waste a day and not do anything I wanted or needed to do, and then feel frustrated and disappointed with myself.   For the most part, however, the last few weeks have been busy enough that I haven’t had many opportunities to waste a day, even if I wanted to do so!  That does not mean that finding the time to exercise has been completely out of my control though.  In addition to the externally-regulated time commitments that I don’t have much control over, there have also been times when I have made deliberate choices to devote my time and energy to something other than exercise, like spending time with friends, family, and my husband.  The thing I feel good about is that I’m swapping out one important thing for another, rather than trading something I need for what I think of as “empty calorie” activities… the things that suck up my time, but don’t really do anything for me and I typically regret later on (like spending a full hour on Facebook).  Yeah, there have been some moments like that, but definitely not as much as there have been in the past. In general, I have felt good about the decisions I’ve been making about how to spend my time.

So perhaps there is a difference between failing and not succeeding.  You can put in a lot of effort and still not succeed because there are obstacles beyond your control, or perhaps because the goal you set was too high.  You can also not succeed because you decided to focus your effort into a different goal, at least temporarily.  In either case, at least you are moving forward and doing something.  I think the only true case of failure is when you are doing absolutely nothing.

Don’t think this means that I am letting myself off the hook.  I still really want to find some sort of exercise routine that works for me, and I still like the idea of using my blog as a vehicle for following through on the goals I set.  It just seems like it might require some more exploration and reflection (or pilot testing, if you will) before I try this again.  So at this point, I’m easing up on myself a bit and reevaluating what might work better.  And with spring break coming up soon, I will have a nice long week to reset and maybe try to get back on track.

Also, I want to mention that as I’ve been working on this, I realized that I’ve really missed writing!  (Similar to how I feel when I exercise after taking some time off, actually.)  So, I’ll try to check in a little more frequently and at least share some recipes with you, because no matter how busy things get, I still seem to find time to cook.*

*That is not entirely true.  But there have certainly been times in the last couple weeks when I cooked something and wished I had taken photos and/or had the time to write about it!

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