I thought about titling this one “The Art of Self-Flagellation” but I kept thinking of the character Silas from the Da Vinci Code and decided maybe it wasn’t a good comparison. You may disagree when I’m done.
Nobody is better at tearing me down than I am. Years and years of practice attempting to control the world around me through willpower. We all know how that goes. Ultimately I can control exactly one thing… me. And sometimes even that’s a challenge I’m not up to.
Today I am dealing with a few extenuating circumstances that led to an unsettled mental state:
- Going on a week-long business trip. (Always stresses me out.)
- Not sleeping well. (May have squeaked out 3 or 4 hours last night if I was lucky.)
- Haven’t been eating well (less healthy than usual) or drinking enough water.
- Drinking too much alcohol. (One, sometimes two drinks a night, which is unusual.)
- Coming down with a cold on the eve of my trip.
All of these have led to less-than-stellar performance when I go to the CrossFit box. (No, I’m not going to talk about CrossFit here – if you want to know about my CrossFit experience I’d direct you to my CrossFitz blog.) And usually I just try to keep a positive attitude, do what I can do, and chug through it.
Today I quit during a workout. Could I have continued? Probably. I would have been slow as molasses and was having issues breathing right, but I probably would have finished after about 18 minutes or so.
The quitting is what is eating me alive now.
- I walked out of the box after cleaning my equipment. I simply didn’t want to have to interact with anybody and explain why I had done so poorly.
- I let myself down because I know I should have done better.
- I took a protein recovery shake (a post-workout ritual) with me and decided I didn’t deserve it due to my poor performance.
- I swore a lot during the workout and afterwards.
- I decided that I really don’t deserve to eat lunch because of my poor performance either.
- I’m upset as well with the fact that this is probably the last workout I’ll get in before I go on my trip, which means I’ll leave on a failure.
None of this is healthy. The critic is running rampant. And I need to let it go.
A healthy response would have been:
- Accept that I wasn’t feeling up to snuff and bailed early on the workout.
- Accept that I get a DNF (Did Not Finish) today and that it’s still better than DNS (Did Not Start).
- Accept the minor victory that I accomplished a 2:09 400m run.
- Challenge myself to do better next time.
I have finished Helen before. I will finish it again. Today was just not my day.
Or, as my Dad puts it: “Get mad, get glad, get on with yourself.”
Yes sir. I’m trying. Failing, but trying.
A little more self-compassion would be good. Just a little.