How to deal with getting sidelined by injury.

I hate failing.

And apparently I’m in good company, because it ranks number 15 on this list of most common fears/phobias.

So many of us hate failing, but it’s going to happen. It will happen to you, and it has happened to me. Many times.

That means we have to learn to deal with it.

I follow lots of running accounts on Twitter, and the subject of injury comes up frequently. More to the point, they discuss how soon they can be back to training after an injury.

But why is it so important to get back to training ASAP?

Because we don’t want to miss the race. Or we don’t want to miss our time goal.

We are afraid of failing.

Think about it for a second. What does a race mean to someone who’s not a professional athlete?

Nothing!

We run to better ourselves.

Whether it’s to be healthier physically, or healthier mentally, or healthier socially. Running makes us better.

Where does this insane drive to run-at-all-costs come from?

There’s no monetary advantage. And most of us know someone who can run farther, faster than we can, so we’re not really competing for bragging rights.

Again, I think the issue is a fear of failure. Of letting ourselves down.

If you’ve followed my blog here at all, you’ve probably wondered why my posts stopped all of a sudden. What happened to the race I was training for?

Unfortunately, I was sidelined by injury.

Couldn’t train. Heck, I couldn’t even run for almost two months.

And I struggled with that. To the point that I was trying so hard to run through the pain that I was making myself miserable. And subsequently was making everyone else in my house miserable!

Finally, my wife told me to just give it up. It’s not worth sabotaging my health for a race.

She was right.

I took the time off. I rested and rested. Now, I’m back to running like it’s no big deal.

But, I needed that time off, and I’ve gained some good perspective from it.

I’ve learned that one race is not worth trading in my health for. I don’t want to compromise my long-term ability to run for a short-term goal.

The fact is, I want to be able to run for the rest of my life. Why should I endanger that in the pursuit of the next race?

So, I want to leave everyone with this advice:

Stop.

If it hurts, stop and rest. If it still hurts, get professional help.

Don’t trade your long-term success for a short-term goal.

The journey is long, so keep your eyes fixed on the road ahead.

Oh, and as for me, I’m hoping to do a half marathon in the fall to make up for the one I missed.

See, there’s always another race!

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