I sprained my ankle last September. A bad sprain. I couldn’t walk properly for 8 weeks, and running. Ha. Running didn’t happen for months and months and months.
I saw a physiotherapist regularly during my rehabilitation. He gave me ankle strengthening exercises to do each day as well as stretches and standing on one leg, re-remembering how to balance and a stepping forward thing with a thera-band thing and God knows what else. I had a list. To do: 3x a day, 15-30 repetitions.
At first, I followed the exercises religiously. I was motivated. I wanted to run again. And the sooner I could, the better, and if the exercises would get me there, then I would do them a hundred times a day if I had to.
That is, until I got bored.
I didn’t notice at first. But I’d started to not do so many repetitions. Or I’d do them with my iPhone in my hand, haphazardly performing the exercises, but not concentrating fully, scrolling through my Instagram feed. Completely checked out.
I still wanted to run. So much. And yet I’d lost interest in the strengthening exercises that would ultimately get me back on my feet and into my running trainers again. Which is an odd thing, really. To sabotage my rehabilitation when the end goal of running again was so important to me.
And yet it’s not that odd, really. Because we constantly do this with our lives, don’t we?
You start the healthy eating plan, excitedly filling the fridge with greens and juices and all the good stuff you read about in that book you bought. You throw out the sugar and the bread and the white pasta. You’re ready! This is it! You start off well, day 1, day 2, day 3 pass by and you’re a master at whizzing up a green smoothie in your new Vitamix and woah! You can’t believe how good you feel! And then, then it all kind of goes to shit. Someone brings some cake into the office and before you know it, you’re tucking into a slice. You get home that evening and you order a takeaway, “Fuck it”, you think, “I had the cake this afternoon, I’ll just start again with the healthy eating tomorrow.”
But you don’t. You’re back in familiar terrain again. Everything just slips and a week goes by and you’re scratching your head, wondering where and why it all went downhill.
And the reason is: You also got bored.
Your motivation waned. The reality of drinking green smoothies, of laboriously chopping up vegetables and making salads and thinking ahead and being disciplined to make a meal instead of throwing a pizza in the oven, became dull. The end goal, the one surrounded by bright lights! and feeling good! and making that change! was slowly sidetracked, by the day-in-day-out bottom line steps of what has to happen to make the end goal happen.
This is why businesses fail.
This is why relationships fall apart.
This is why gym memberships remain untouched.
This is why blogs have two whole blog posts and then nothing.
This is why marathon finishing lines aren’t crossed.
This is why those 3 extra kilograms don’t budge.
This is why I’m still not back running properly.
I’m probably 4 months behind where I should be. I can still only run 3 kilometres before my ankle hurts and I have to walk the rest of the way home.
All because I got bored. Of the day-in-day-out bottom line steps towards the end goal of being able to run ultra marathons again. Something that I absolutely love doing.
I chose to not do the work, to not follow the steps.
Ridiculous, isn’t it?