Lately, my workouts have been fairly challenging. Even the ones that I look at in the schedule and fail to respect. On the flip side, I have been consistent about completing them. The only exception being late last week when I had a major problem sleeping and ended up pretty deep in deficit. The issue really boiled down to a decision that I made to commute back and forth to the horse show last week. It was about 100 miles each way and I decided that I preferred to be home each day. The problem was that I had to drink huge amounts of caffeine to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel after the first night (I have one night a week that I am awake around the clock). That led to disrupted sleep that day, putting me two days out from any real sleep (and the previous day had been two long workouts in the Texas heat). The following night and day were a compounded problem and it took even more caffeine to get home, disrupting sleep even more (woke up after 45 mins!!!) By Sunday, I was pretty much totally trashed and my run got cut from the schedule. I made a note in the schedule for DW and went to bed!
What I am pleased about is the evidence of what I believe is a deeper understanding of balance and appropriateness. I did not try to make the workout up. I did not stress about it. I just recognized the fact that my body was done and respected that.... and slept for close to twenty hours! It was hard, fast confirmation that my exhaustion levels were pretty critical. I woke up the next day and felt a hollow and flat, but this time, I put my head down and did my job. I pushed at the right time, I rested at the right time. I would love to put a check in every box, to complete every workout every week specifically as written. But I am not a machine. I am a human being, made of flesh and blood, and nothing is ever truly constant in a living body.
Responding to that has been a very difficult lesson. The training I have been doing with DW has been very good for other parts of my life as well. Not only have I become much more forgiving of my human-ness, but I have become significantly less dramatic and more proactive about controlling what I need to control. Example? Instead of getting all depressed and angst ridden about the failed weekend, I simply did what I need to for damage control (rest) and made sure the week didn't repeat itself. I have a camper spot on the show grounds for the next two weeks. Problem solved.
I have begun to develop an attitude towards mistakes that is much healthier. Once I recognize them, I acknowledge them, make a plan to avoid them in the future, implement that plan ( and revise it 70 million times if necessary), then let it go and move on.
I may never achieve all of my athletic goals, some of which are somewhat lofty, but if reaching for those goals makes me a better person then I have won. That, by itself, is a reason to keep reaching, keep believing, so that I keep evolving. I am okay with that.