Small Setbacks are Secondary


I’ve always thought of myself as a patient person that can keep their eyes on the horizon and ignore the little setbacks in favor of seeing the big picture. I was wrong. 

     I recently had to take a couple of days off from running because I couldn’t see the big picture. I had a little pain in a tendon near my knee, and instead of just skipping my afternoon double—a run that would have made zero difference to my overall fitness had I skipped it in favor of recovering after my knee started hurting during my workout in the morning—I instead chose to do it anyways. And I went running for two hours the next day, and forced myself through it, and the next day, and the next, and the next, until it was five days after it started hurting, and it hurt so much on that run I was unable to bend my leg the next day. 

     All of this pointless suffering would have been avoided had I just skipped that second run. 

     I would have lost essentially zero fitness, and it would have been fine the next day; even if it wasn’t, another day of complete rest would have cured it. The only blow would’ve been to my training log, and my ego. I would’ve been a bit sad for not hitting my goal mileage for that week, but a couple days rest would’ve been good for me. 

     Instead, I pushed through the pain, and paid the price for my stupidity by limping around and lying on the couch, unable to bend my leg, for essentially all of the following week. Even though the issue is a lot better now, I still feel it sometimes. 

     It all would have been avoided if I just chilled out. 

     Really, the point of all of this is that instead of focusing on the present, the here and now, sometimes it’s necessary to contextualize a failure. Little setbacks, when taken one at a time, barely influence the future. It’s only when we focus too much on them that they become a serious problem.