As I’ve written about in previous blogs, injuries, dips in performance, and life challenges, are all opportunities. They are chances for us to learn from our mistakes and make positive changes.
That being said, no change is straight forward, and it takes more than one day to make a permanent change. We are only human, therefore can be guilty of falling back into bad habits at times. I put my hands up and say, learning from mistakes is not a linear process. We can stumble and slip up without realising. I did this last week.
One thing I vowed to change post-injury, was my level of honesty when it came to how I physically felt. I decided that in order to progress as a healthy and strong athlete, I needed to put my hands up and honestly communicate when things weren’t quite right. No matter how small or insignificant something feels, I realised that I need to report it to my coach as soon as it appears.
He is very clever, and an incredible coach, but he cannot read my mind. For this reason, the only way to ensure we manage any discomforts, however small or big they are, is by me communicating them. Last Friday, I found myself falling back into the bad habit of ignoring something that didn’t feel quite right.
I woke up with a slightly sore ankle the morning of a session. I said to myself, I’ll see how it feels after my session, and then I’ll let my coach know how it felt. Sounds reasonable? But it’s NOT. This is where I have gone wrong before, and is exactly what I said I wouldn’t do. I should’ve immediately reported it to my coach, just to make him aware, even if it didn’t change anything. It is always better to be on the safe side, and doing a session when something doesn’t feel right, isn’t always the smart way forward.
In all honesty I didn’t think it worth reporting as it had only just come on. I didn’t even see any error in my way of thinking and you may not either, but this is where I have gone wrong before. I have learnt that there is no benefit in ignoring things that don’t feel quite right, even if they only appear for one day. Having to adjust training due to acute niggles, or deviating from the initial plan because you feel a bit tired, is not a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of strength. This is how progression is made and injury is avoided as you back off when proceeding at full steam ahead could do more damage than good. Ploughing on is not always smart.
Changes don’t happen overnight and mistakes aren’t learnt from without some disruption. Whatever change you wish to make, you will have to stumble and get back up again multiple times, before you can fully learn.
The most important thing, is that you continue to recognise where you went wrong. Whilst I didn’t report the niggle straight away (when I should have done), I was able to look back and see where I went wrong. Therefore I HAVE learnt, and I am evolving from my mistakes, but it is ok to stumble every now and then. Stumbling is not failing, but instead part of the learning process.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!