As an athlete it is not uncommon to have a plan. A seasons plan, a months plan, a weeks plan, race plan and so on. Many people will sit down with their coaches, fellow athletes or similar and together work out training, sessions, races and what they want to achieve. This is usually standard practice for athletes in any sport, and in fact can be common for a number of peoples lifestyles. I am the first to admit that I do not like change. I could actually go as far as saying that I despise change. But as the years, months, weeks, days and minuets have passed I have slowly come to accept that not everything goes exactly according to plan (damn it!).
Accepting changes, challenging situations and respecting that ‘some things happen for a reason’ is possibly one of life’s greatest lessons. Being able to ‘adapt’ to situations, change things up and understand that you sometimes need a new direction to succeed is not always easy, especially when you feel your plan has been well thought out, discussed and full of potential.
I guess from an athletes point of view, a missed session, a poorly judged race or even worse an injury, can play havoc with your pre-arranged plans. It can be such a downer when you have a season planned out, races in place, sessions at the ready, and bam you get injured. I suppose this is prominent in my mind at the moment, as I was planning on a few end of season races, until I got this ‘pain in the bum’. Alas though, they were not meant to happen, and plans had to change. My rest period came earlier, and my expectations of a few faster races became a distant memory. I guess you can say I had to change my plans, although not drastically, it was still different to what I had in mind and accepting this at first was difficult. But things happen for a reason right?!
Deep down, when ever something happens, a voice inside of me tells me that ‘its happened for a reason’. I don’t know if this is just my way of coping or if it really is the case, but if you are able to take something positive from a situation then surely its going to help you come out the other side stronger. Believe me, dwelling on something that can not be changed (however hard you try..) is a waste of time and energy and ultimately going to get you NOWHERE!
You can apply this to any moment in life if you think about it. Whether you get splashed by a lorry on a rainy walk to work or break your arm skydiving, these things happen for a reason. Perhaps your outfit clashed and now the muddy, wet look you are processing is actually an improvement! Or maybe, you were going to be asked to clean the drains, but now your arm is in a cast you can’t… I don’t know really, but what I do know is that by accepting changes, and moving in a forwards direction you might actually get something better, achieve something new or even discover people/hobbies/passions you never thought you would!
I saw a quote the other day which went along the lines of “I am grateful that some things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to” and this really sums up what I have been trying to say. Don’t think that just because something hasn’t gone the way it was originally ‘planned’ to that you have failed, this is not the case. In reality, you may have actually landed yourself in a better position! For me, my break came early, so now (although to some people this may seem crazy!) I will be training on holiday, and able to clock up some sunny miles, a part of my holiday I am now looking forward to. Okay, maybe not part of the original reason of a ‘holiday’, but who cares, I’ll be ‘Running Happy’ and getting a tan at the same time – double bonus!
Still, it can sometimes be harder to accept changes. Sometimes, it can take a long time before you can see a reason behind why this has happened to you. Years in fact, can pass before it suddenly clicks as to why that change happened. You may have moved on, you may have achieved new things, but you’ll look back and think, now thats why it happened, and you can then feel a great sense of satisfaction.
So whether you miss your bus, and have to walk to work, accidentally stopping off at a coffee shop on the way for a drink and a muffin (shame!) or you find your training plan has to change, remember these things happen for a reason. Accepting changes can be hard, challenging and demoralising at times but having the ability to do so, to pick yourself up and carry on is a great display of character, maturity and strength. So don’t drown your sorrows in the changes, embrace the new plans, hold your head high and crack on!
“Life is about moving on, accepting changes, and looking forward to what makes you stronger”
Get out there!