The last 10 days or so of this challenge have been super hard. A few things have contributed to this, mainly I think it’s due to creating excuses not to prioritise my practice. I don’t get up in time to fit it in in the morning, or I’m too tired in the evening, or I feel achey… all the reasons I should actually push through and do it anyway seemed to go quiet. As is the way of this kind of thing, devoting the mental energy to making and justifying excuses has actually been more tiring and stressful than just doing the thing and not thinking about it.
On top of this I have been crazy busy. It’s my own fault, because I’m saying yes to a lot of things that actually I should probably not be saying yes to. One of my resolutions this year was “Say no more, say yes mindfully” and these last two weeks I have NOT been practicing that maxim. I’ve been having a great time but my energy levels have been drained, and the first things to slip have been my personal goals. It’s easy to de-prioritise myself. I don’t mind letting myself down as much as I mind letting others down, even if I do feel disappointed. Last month I definitely declined a few social invites and small projects in order to focus on the challenge. This month, I have not done that and it is pretty clear that I have been overextending myself again. So I need to rein it in again!
Another realisation has been that, despite how I felt previously, I do actually enjoy having a group to be accountable to. I don’t get in so deep that I need to rely on it, but it’s a great motivator and ignites my small competitive streak. And it makes something that is hard really fun; especially when it comes to physical challenges. I miss the cameraderie and brief check-ins; I may create a Facebook event or group for my next one and invite people to join just for the craic. It only takes a couple of minutes but it was a fun couple of minutes that sustained that positive, can-do energy. Set your self up for success – recruit some buddies. Wish I’d been comprehensive in that planning!
Technically, I have ‘failed’ my February challenge. I haven’t done a splits practice every day, or even 5 times a week. I’ve been averaging 3–4 and that’s only slightly more than I was averaging prior to this. Which is still improvement! Don’t get me wrong, I’m counting the wins and I’m going to try to keep going!
I’m thinking that because the Feb challenge hasn’t gone so well I’m going to repeat it ON TOP of the March challenge, mainly to lend focus to my dance practice. Since March is ‘Eat: Whole30', continuing a physical challenge (or starting over) seems doable. Whole30 is intense and I’ve recruited my darling fiancé (hi bebz shoutout to you sorry for roping you into this) to do it with me, so I have tangible support for that. Plus since it’s restrictive in eating and drinking, even though they say not to curb your socialising I can see us naturally reducing it anyway.
Anyway, before March starts I want to get back on this horse and try to do as much as I possibly can on this challenge. It’s still a week away so I’ll power through these next few days and see how it all pans out. I’m learning to be ok with ‘failing’ and admitting I’ve failed; it means I’m learning and I’ve still got more opportunities to try, to grow, and to get a little better each time. Teachable moments, not berate-able moments.
The nice thing I’m learning the longer I do these physical challenges is that the negative voice that is mean about my skills/appearance actually gets quieter the more time I spend doing things. It feeds on inactivity and guilt; for an expert procrastinator such as myself this is a pretty powerful realisation. Gotta keep moving and keep ahead of that voice! Outrun it, so to speak. Even writing this blog is making it sit down and shut up, even if I haven’t trained splits in the last 48hrs, possibly because I’m confessing my sins and in seeing them written down… they’re not that bad.
I’ve got a second appointment with an amazing physio on Wednesday so I might update after that – more learning!
Stay curious, challengers, and don’t get discouraged <3