Ok, it’s confession time: patience has never been my strong suit. I understand that everyone has varying degrees of an impatient attitude, but mine tends to rear it’s ugly head more often than not. Being the type A, want to do this my way, and do it NOW kind of person that I am, I have gotten myself in trouble time after time. Also, it’s not just in one area of my life, it’s EVERYTHING from waiting in line at the grocery store, to waiting for my house to sell. It’s so easy and tempting to try to hurry things along ahead of the time in which they were meant to happen.
What does this have to do with running, fitness, and health? Well, a lot actually! On top of the fact that I am about as patient as little kid at Christmas, I am also super competitive. So, waiting for something to happen, for me to be better, healthier, more toned, etc. is a HUGE challenge. Why is this a big deal? For me it all has to do with the letdown. For example, say I wanted to run and PR, TODAY on a distance I am not quite ready for. My impatience causes me to try anyway, and then when I don’t PR, I am let down. Big time. I can get upset, temporarily depressed, angry at myself, or even want to quit all together.
One of my favorite mottos I use in my life is don’t set yourself up for failure. In my case, this ties directly into the amount of patience I possess. To me this means set attainable goals for when the time is right. Be PATIENT with yourself and your level of fitness. HHHhhmm…So, for me personally, this means I must LEARN patience. How do you learn patience, or anything for that matter? By practicing of course! I have learned whenever I pray for patience in my life, God tends to drop me right smack in the middle of a trying situation where much patience is required, and I have to choose how I handle it. (Be careful what you ask for, right?)
If you think about your day, there are probably several situations you can look back on that required patience. How did you handle it? Tapping your foot and looking at your watch in line at Wal Mart is not going to teach you pace yourself for your next running goal. Taking matters into your own hands and trying to work them out instead of just letting things happen on their own is not going to teach you to be patient with your body as you try to tone your arms, or get those six pack abs.
I am sure you have heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” At basketball camp one summer, I won a tshirt that said: “practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.” We will never be perfect, so try not to set yourself up for failure. Practice patience, practice cutting yourself some slack, and setting attainable goals in your life. You will learn and grow as a person, and as an athlete. So be on the lookout today for an opportunity to practice your patience. Trust me, your body will thank you!
QOTD: Do you struggle with being patient with your body? How do you learn patience?