November 1st: Goal Setting

Rabbit! Rabbit! It’s November 1st! Being that it’s a new month, I have decided that I am going to set a goal for myself. For all of November my goal is to: Run every day. Regardless of the day, weather, my mood, and whatever else… I’m going to run!

Now, this is actually quite a normal goal for me. I do try to run every day even if it’s only three miles or so. But of course, there are days when I can’t quite fit running into my schedule. So, why not set the goal for myself to make sure I run absolutely every day, right?

But, I started thinking… Why exactly do I find it necessary to run every single day? What exactly will I accomplish with this? I will probably be a happier person, more approachable, in better shape, and of course become a better-stronger-faster athlete, etc. but what else is propelling me towards accomplishing this goal?

I really do not know. Maybe it’s my personality… I want to be excellent and I will work hard to get there. Because of my outlook, sometimes I feel guilty (and lazy) for taking too many days off. I have the tendency to push myself—at times a little too hard. Some days my body cannot physically handle what I put it through on my runs.

Two months ago I found myself hobbling around campus in a boot for this reason exactly. Not from jumping off a boulder or falling down the stairs—It was from running too much and pushing myself too hard. I was running with a shooting pain in my right tibia. I could not get out of bed without cringing because the pain was so intense. But I did not let that stop me. I am a college athlete and we are told to “tough it out—don’t show weakness.” I continued my daily runs and yoga classes to stretch out after. Every few days I would go to a cardio tennis class regardless of the pain.

I did not listen to my body. I continued to run on different surfaces—streets, turf, treadmills, trails (Yes, I know… stupid, stupid, stupid). My body was telling me to stop but my head was telling me I needed to keep going. I had done the run before so I kept telling myself that there shouldn’t be any reason I couldn’t do it again.

After the pain became so bad that I could not sit on the couch without crying I decided to get it checked out… A stress fracture in my right tibia. This was an injury thats recovery period requires 2 months rest—HELP! What a nightmare! I found a way to fight through the pain, yet again, and I was back running after 3 weeks—not so smart.

While the pain in not half as bad as it was two months ago, I still find myself limping after runs every now and again…

Alright, so I’m rethinking my November goal…

I know I am capable of running every day for a month. I have proven to myself that I can do it. But what do I struggle with? What would be a goal that I would really have to put a lot of effort into making sure I complete? My answer: Listening to my body.

Without further ado… My goal for the month of November:
I pledge to listen to my body and the signals that it sends me. I will run when my body craves movement and freedom. I will slow down when my body needs a break. If I am sore or in pain I will rest.

2 thoughts on “November 1st: Goal Setting

  1. First of all, I love this post, and I can totally relate. I too love running, and over the summer I made it my goal to run everyday. After about a month into it, I developed a throbbing pain in my right foot. I went to the doctor, and there was a small bone fragment that was irritating my foot. He told me I had to give up running for at least a week, and even after I was healed he told me to alternate between running and biking throughout the week to lessen the blow on my body. Why do you think it’s so hard to do this? If we’re pain, we should stop, right? But, this usually isn’t the case. For me, I think it’s because of how good you feel after a run that makes the pain worth running through. Really enjoyed your post, and I’m glad to know someone feels the same way I do!

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this post! A similar thing happened to me last winter, although it involved lifting instead of running. I pushed myself to lift everyday during winter break, even Christmas morning. Eventually I pushed my body over the limit, partially tearing my labrum. With the same “push through it” attitude I didn’t think much of the pain and continued to lift. When the pain became unbearable to the point I could hardly shoulder press a 35 lb. dumbbell, I finally gave in and went to the doctor. Even though surgery wasn’t required, I was still setback about a month unable to do many of the lifts I needed to build strength for football. So I think I would value from setting a similar goal, to listen to my body and not try to hide the signals it sends me.

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