Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dealing With Disappointment

Disappointment. The uncomfortable emotion that knocks at your door when you least except it, bringing its buddies anger, hurt and sadness.  Hoping you will roll out the welcome mat so it can cozy up and stay awhile. Like any unwelcome house guest, the quicker you become honest with yourself, and deal with it. The faster it will pack up its bags and move on.

Disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes. What may disappoint one, may seem like an easy obstacle to overcome to another. It is a subjective emotion, which can make it even more complicated, as not everyone may relate to you in your particular situation. Whether it's the perfect job that went to someone else, or a goal, hope, or dream that didn't come to fruition, we have all dealt with disappointment in one form or another, it's a part of life.
I had a major case of disappointment this weekend. I have been training since June for my 7th half marathon. Sometime last week, I injured my calf muscle. It was not an obvious injury, and I cannot pinpoint when it occurred (therefore, I'm hoping it is not a severe muscle strain or worse yet that it is torn). The rest of the week during my runs, after I would hit the two mile mark, a dull ache would set in my calf. I would continue to run, but by Friday, I could not get past two miles without major pain. I stopped and stretched (which I'm thinking was a bad call on my part), when I got up to resume, I could barely walk. I've googled what to do, I've been icing and elevating, and applying a compression bandage in hopes of an easy fix. Saturday, was no different. Reality set in, this may take more time to heal than I had hoped. At this point, I've been advised to take a week or two off to rest the muscle. My race is in three weeks.

262.2 miles of training under my belt since June, and I have a set back three weeks before the race. I can't help but feel the disappointment. I've put in the work, I've laced up my shoes and got out there on days I did not feel like it, I pushed through in hopes of having a great race day. I know in the grand scheme of things this is a small thing, there will be other races. To some, this may seem like a silly thing to be disappointed about. Yet, here I am. As I've been in the trenches of disappointment this weekend, I've been contemplating what is the best way to deal with disappointment. Yes, this happened to me, so now what?

Here are three steps that have helped me move on past my disappointment.
1. Adjust my expectations. When I started training in June I was training in hopes of getting a personal best come October. However, when I look at the circumstances, this is probably not likely, so now I'll dial back a bit with an expectation of finishing the race. Depending on my recovery, there may even be walking involved. By adjusting my expectations now, I am setting myself up for a win on race day. Positively, looking at the fact that I may not get a PR, but at least I can still participate (or at least I'm going to do everything in my power to ;-).

2. Remember why you set out to do this in the first place. After I began to realize that my injury cannot take away the 262 miles I have run this training cycle, I began to feel a little bit better. I've still benefitted (physically and mentally) from all those miles even if I don't get to run on race day.

3. Take the disappointment you feel and turn it into something positive.  Find an even better job to apply for. Start planning for another race. The pain doesn't come from the disappointment, the pain comes if you let it "stay" too long. Disappointment will only "stay" as long as you let it, so work through it, and then kick it to the curb. It's okay to feel the disappointment from your situation, but the key is to not stay in your disappointment. Keep a positive outlook, knowing you can come back from this. Sure, maybe the project you had worked on for months was not greeted with the praise and enthusiasm that you were hoping for, but let that motivate you to make the next project even better. Find out from your boss what would have made this one just what they were looking for, and then get to work.

Next time you encounter disappointment, I hope that these three easy steps may help you move past your disappointment. Don't let your disappointment define you, let your come back be amazing!

1 comment :

  1. Your blog helped me a lot to deal with the disappointment of pulling my hamstring last week, setting me back a bit on my knee recovery. Reading about your experience and how you turned around the disappointment was very helpfu. Thanks!