Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reflection on Setbacks

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For most people, setbacks are a fact of life.  Sometimes they're big, sometimes not so big, but either way, they're usually discouraging.  

Like anybody, we are no strangers to setbacks.  This post, though, is written completely from M's perspective...hopefully her reflection on her major 2012 setback, will help inspire those of you who can relate.

2012 was an incredibly successful year in many aspects of my life.  I settled into a job I truly love. I moved in with the love of my life. I sailed and traveled more than usual, and worked on my friendships in between.  And, last month, I finally got the promotion I worked so very hard for over the past 6 months.

On the flipside, maybe my only regret for 2012 was that I lost my focus on fitness.  

As personal and work stress began to mount, I failed to listen to my body, instead doing the opposite.  I quit going to yoga. My running / gym days become few and far between.  I let my eating get out of control, in fact, "stress eating" became my MO for most of the spring & summer.    

I became my own setback.  When I probably needed to be working out more than usual to combat stress, I completely quit. 

Late summer got a little better.  I recommitted to my fitness routine, started going to classes at the gym & I began marathon training.  Everything was going well, and then I twisted my ankle, and downhill I went.  I started working later and later, rarely getting home before 8pm every night, barely getting 1 measly workout a week in over the fall.

I usually run at least 4 double digit-mile races each year, my race count for 2012 is 0.  For someone who is almost always in training, I feel like a complete failure.


To make matters worse, the number on the scale and the way my clothes fit is even more depressing. 


In reflecting on this pity party, I realized that I've been here before.  But this time, I know that I am where I am by no other fault than my own.  Things happen, calendars get hectic, life gets in the way.

The most important thing this time around, is that I recognize that this failure to prioritize fitness and value my workout time, is the mistake I made.  It wasn't life circumstances that got me here, it was my own inability to prioritize me. I keep coming back to this same question - If you don't have your health, what do you have?

 What we do with our bodies, how well we treat them, shows on the outside, just as much as it feels on the inside. The way we deal with setbacks is indicative of who we are. 

My realization came after a first short run back in the saddle literally left me breathless, and exhausted on the couch.  

As I sat there, I thought "but I ran an entire marathon a little over than a year ago, what happened?!" I realized I can't go down this road any longer.  I am the only one who can set my priorities, and health is one of the most important ones. Health dictates how well we do everything else in life.

Since this realization a week ago, I figured why wait until the new year to start this journey back to health?  So, I've signed up for a half marathon, renewed my gym membership, and also penned a meal plan for the next month.  I'm determined to stick to all of these, not because I should, it's because I WANT to.

So, how am I feeling with all of these goals? Especially now that they're public?  Overwhelmed.  However, as long as I'm doing the right things - moving, eating good food, nurturing my body, I should be healthy, and in turn, I should be happy.  

As you think about 2012, what were your setbacks? What are your goals for 2013?  What can you start now?  There's no time like the present! 


  1. My goal is to run the Charlottesville 10-miler in March! In fact, I have already registered. Come on down and run it with me!

  2. I would LOVE to run this with you, but that's the same day as my half marathon :( Can we set up a visit on a different weekend and perhaps do a training run together?!