If at first you don’t succeed…you can dust it off and try again.
This song has been running in my head, and ironically I’m sitting down to write about resilience. Enjoy a little throwback while we continue…
For the sake of transparency and for well…fun, I wanted to challenge myself to list a few of my failures.
(Note: I noticed how it seemed my brain wasn’t wired to think of most of these as failures, but milestones. It was a healthy ego exercise to bring myself back to the intensity of defeat – but what we focus on wires our brains with that patterning…so, do the reflection, and then flip the failure and examine how it has taught you or benefited you.)
2000 – I auditioned for the dance program, didn’t get in. I was SO convinced they needed me in their program. And a few years later completely understood why they took a hard pass and gave me a big no the first time. I was green, naive, had some raw talent, sure…but I wasn’t ready to do the work. When I auditioned the second time, I had already been studying, taking class, performing and they knew me. I respected them. Big difference.
2007 – What felt like a massive failure at the time: divorce.
2010 – I entered a rock climbing competition. Felt great, made it into the finals. It was my turn so I went to the wall, tied in, sat down to fix my shoes and the route was a sit start – meaning your butt is on the ground, you set your feet on tiny holds, grab on and go. Whelp, that very first move of the sit start I get off the ground no problemo, then my foot totally pops off the hold it was on, and touches the ground. DISQUALIFIED within seconds. Damn.
2016 – I failed to even show up for a trail race I signed up for – granted I was about 5 months pregnant, but I could have gone. Gotten my shirt and packet. And hiked the course. Instead, I called it a wash and stayed home. I’ve never had a DNF – did not finish – designation for a race, and this was my first DNS.
If not daily, at least weekly, I fail at listening to my husband without interrupting him. He’s gracious.
I’ve certainly had plenty of others failures but these stand out as turning points. As moments in time where I built up my reserves, made some tough choices, and learned heaps of self compassion.
So, it’s not whether we fail, but WHEN we fail, what do we do about it?
Resilience is key for you to stay engaged and embodied for life. Fitness and health – it takes practice daily and a fierce loyalty to your own wellbeing and happiness.
There’s no quick fix or easy answer, we all have to do the work. We gotta trust ourselves to move through the experience of defeat and find the wisdom within it. The courage to continue. To be in the practice no matter what the outcome may or may not be.
After I had Fern, I became very aware how often people would tell me how I looked, or commented about how ‘skinny’ I was, or perhaps I felt their assumptions that it was ‘easy’, or that I had ‘tried really hard’ to lose the weight, or that my body and appearance mattered most because of my chosen profession as a movement educator.
In fact, I didn’t try to lose weight, nothing much about those first several weeks felt easy emotionally for me, and now a few months into motherhood, I continue to feel my body healing, my expectations softening with compassion, and my drive and desire being tempered by patience and wisdom. I know my body will heal, in time. I know I will run marathons again, when it’s time. My body will return to a lean state naturally by the way in which I live.
And right now, I need to go gradually, steady and consistent but be easy on myself. I’m unwilling to damage my body in the short term when I need it for the long haul.
Resilience is the act of rising up to live in accordance to your values.
In practical terms, I’ve been running some and hiking plenty, doing Franklin Method, and I added in some strength training and resistance banding. This last piece of focusing on total body strength has felt SO good after all the hormonal and structural changes of pregnancy. If you’re a runner (even without having had kids) make sure you’re getting after it with your squats, lunges and more. (My online program Runner’s Tune Up will open for enrollment the LAST time this fall…stay tuned or email me to get on the waitlist for that.)
If you’ve had a recent set back, injury, diagnosis, or emotional hardship, you’re not alone.
A failure does not mean there is anything wrong with you. Sometimes obstacles are detours in the right direction.
It’s allowed and even extremely intelligent to spend some time with the loss. Be with your failure for at least a moment of acknowledgement. There’s gold buried in your losses. Unearth it and put it to work for you in the future.
Resilience means the capacity to recover; to spring back; adaptation in the face of adversity; buoyancy or elasticity
I especially love the definition ‘adaptation in the face of adversity’. Learning and growth is inherent in the process – we are going to come out better than we went into the failure, if that’s how we focus our attention.
What situation or failure is requiring you to learn resiliency?
What practices or tips really work for you when you’re rebuilding from a loss?
I’d love to support you down below in the comments. And thanks in advance for sharing.