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Monday, February 21, 2011

Success OR Perfection?

Why is it that we use such stringent and impossible ideals to judge ourselves and determine our success or failure? When will we (by "we", I mean mostly "I") realize that success does NOT mean perfection?
Last week, for my long run, I ran/walked 6.5 miles, and took a nearly 20 minute walk break in the middle. Afterward, I wondered whether to file that workout away as a walk or a run. I decided that as far as workouts go, it was not so great. It took forever to complete, and I walked a ton. Definitely not my best workout, but certainly not my worst either. But, why did I even have to analyze it that way? Is there some rule of running that states that all workouts must fit neatly into a category of a successful run or failed attempt at running? Of course not!

I have a friend who is seriously struggling with self-confidence right now. This precious friend used to run circles around me (quite literally) just a few months ago, but has had a few setbacks, and after several months is now reluctantly restarting her workout routine. She is simply afraid to even try running right now, for fear of failing miserably.

The fact is that even though neither of us are Sports Illustrated Cover-ready, we are both relatively healthy and strong. Yet, we judge ourselves so harshly and walk around calling ourselves failures. It's something that we women do way too much. We consider ourselves to be fat slobs because we don't have the rock hard body of that spin instructor, or failed once again to make time to do that ab video that we bought last week and swore we would do every single day. We can no longer fit into a size 4, and don't remember the last time we had the willpower to skip dessert.

Um, sorry, but, big fat stinkin' deal!

Whether you complete a 20 minute workout video, make good food choices today, accomplish a two mile power walk, or ten mile run, you have accomplished more than MOST Americans today. You are choosing to live healthy and probably inspiring others to do the same.

This afternoon, while swinging in the backyard, my two little girls began screaming, "mommy, we love exercise! Playing and moving our bodies is exercise. Let's exercise!" There's my success! They know that I go to early morning spin classes, or out on early morning runs, and sometimes they even do my yoga video workout with me (even more expertly than I can- I might add!) So, if I accomplish nothing else with my healthier choices, at least I am setting a positive example for them. I'm FAR from perfect but I'll take that kind of success any day.

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