So far, I’ve been pretty good. This year, with the goals I have set and the iterations I have planned, I’ve done pretty well staying on top of things. I may have missed something for a day – this blog, reading, running – or two, but made up for it quickly and moved on.
Until last Sunday.
I was tired already when my wife asked me to reorganize the downstairs storage closet, so I just wanted to get it done. And I probably wasn’t thinking straight when I decided to lift that box of books onto the upper shelf without asking for help. I didn’t feel it right away, but an hour later, my back was on fire.
I shouldn’t run with a back injury.
I’ll just take a week off to heal up.
I’ve been good all year.
I had every reason to think that way. It was the right thing to do. Running is hard on your back. If you’re already injured, you don’t want to make things worse. So I don’t feel bad for putting running off for a week, but what I didn’t expect was how that decision would create a tumble effect that would challenge my whole system.
When I’ve missed runs in the past – or anything I’m trying to do for that matter – it’s been a one time thing. I missed it for a day. I made it up. I didn’t give myself a free pass. But I proactively decided to take a week off from running.
I decided not to run.
I missed two days writing this blog.
I broke a 71-day streak of learning Spanish on Duolingo.
I fell two thousand words behind in my writing.
In fact, the only things I did do this week toward my plan were my journal and reading and I can’t help but wonder if its all connected; if taking deciding not to do one thing had a cascading effect on the others? It has to be related.
I knew these lofty goals would require discipline and I wonder if, even though I was probably justified in deciding not to run – it was the right thing to do – I had removed some crucial Jenga piece from my resolve and the whole darn thing fell like a castle made of glass.
I can’t have another week like this. I can’t afford it if I want to achieve my goals. But also I can’t because of the low-grade loathing that comes along with it. I feel better when I’m top of things. So this week, I’m going to get back on track. If my back can’t handle a run, I’ll move on to yoga and a swim. I have to find a way to adapt and adjust when things don’t go according to plan. It’s the only way this thing will work.