Last week I posted about my workout breakthrough. I hit my goal of running a 10k in under an hour. In fact, I ran it in 58 minutes. It was a great day. I went back to the gym the next day FIRED. UP. I was ready to do it again and even faster this time. I got on the treadmill, started my run, got up to speed and settled in. The first mile came and went, this is normally where I go all in and just coast through the next two miles, but that day was different. That day, I hit a wall. I hit a wall hard.
I made it a total of a mile and a half before tapping out. I had nothing left. I could barely breathe, I could barely stand, and I couldn’t go any farther. I got off of the treadmill extremely disappointed. What happened? Why could I not even do a third of what I just did the day before? I mean, I just wrote a blog about not giving up and crawling if you have to, and blah blah blah, and now, here I am on the floor of the gym crying like a toddler who just got her blankie snatched by her big sister! (Not that that ever happens in my house.)
The truth is, Sometimes, there’s a wall. Some are literal like the walls that stop you from eating Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday. For me that day, it was a lack of rest. I had run 2 10ks in three days and my body was just in need of rest.
It’s ok when we hit a wall. It happens. It’s what we do with the wall that matters. How do you deal with the walls in your life?
When you hit a wall, start dealing with it by celebrating yesterday’s success. I hit my wall because I had record day just the day before. In hitting the wall, this was easy for me to forget. I was focused on the failure of the day. In the middle of dealing with a wall? Look back and find a reason to celebrate. Find some success from previous attempts that will allow you to see that even though today may be a step backward, you are still moving forward. This is not an excuse to live in the past. I’m looking at you high school quarterback who peaked his senior year and still shows up to all the parties 10 years later talking about the glory days. Don’t be that guy. No one likes that guy. Use the celebration of the past to motivate yourself into the future.
After that, learn from today’s struggle. In the moment, that day at the gym seemed to be wasted. I accomplished nothing. In reality, I learned something that day. I learned that from time to time, in order to keep moving forward, we have to stop moving forward. The fact of the matter is that even the creator of the universe took a day off. I know that sounds super cliche but honestly, we as a society overvalue the here and now. We area microwaved “I want it now!” people. We see an app like “Couch to 5k” and think it means we can get out and win the Rugged Maniac as soon as it’s done downloading. When you hit a wall, ask yourself, “Is the best way through this to take a break and come back refreshed?”
Finally, recommit to the goal. Hitting a wall is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, sometimes hitting a wall can be encouraging. It often means we are pushing ourselves to grow. The worst thing we can do when we hit a wall is give up. Giving up takes your wall and turns it into a fence, boxing you in and stunting your growth. Continuing to walk in defeat turns your fence into a cell and holds you prisoner until you can dig your way out. the best way to keep a fence from being around you is to not be where the fence is being built. There is no wall that we aren’t capable of removing from our lives. When we hit them, they test our faith, our strength, and our resolve. So, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT) Hit a wall? Good. Time to get over it.