I’ve been thinking about perfectionism lately. Maybe because a friend recently pointed out that maybe some of my issues and angst are a result of it? (Don’t worry, sildenafil it’s not the first time I’ve heard that theory!)
More specifically, I’ve been wondering if maybe my perfectionism is what has been keeping me from posting about my health journey more often. I started out pretty strong with the posting, right? But then in February, I sprained my ankle in a soccer game and it all came to a screeching halt.
Because they x-rayed my sprain, the docs determined that I have stress fractures in both my tibias. The fractures are unrelated to the ankle sprain, and the catch was only a lucky coincidence. It seems that what I thought were some awful shin splints for the past four years were actually my tibias breaking.
I was given a boot for the ankle and told to stay off it until it stopped hurting. I was told I would need rods inserted into both tibias to repair them. I was told that after a month or so, I could start something non-impact like swimming, but that I should stop if anything hurt.
So, what did I do? Nothing. Even after my month of rest was up, I did nothing. I couldn’t play soccer. I couldn’t jog. I couldn’t take a walk. I couldn’t even use my elliptical. The boot came off and still I did nothing. My Beachbody programs are full of modifications for lighter impact, but I didn’t even try.
At the time, I was chock full of excuses. Most of them were along the lines of “no time.” It was so easy to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I’ll do it after my show.” It didn’t help that it was winter, in Michigan. “It’s too cold.” “It’s too icy.” Winter in Michigan means it gets dark at 5pm. So…“It’s too dark!” I had just started a new part-time job. “I’ve worked all day, and I’m too tired.” “I just need to decompress for a while, and I’ll exercise in a bit.” And then, so many excuses were injury-related. “If I can’t do the workouts right, I’m not going to do them.”
What do you think? Was this perfectionism rearing its ugly head? Or maybe depression trying to gain foothold in my life again? A bit of both?
There is something I did right over the course of the months though. I kept drinking my shakes. Occasionally, I even had two in one day. That was what I hung on to when I was beating myself up about not exercising. At least I kept doing that, and because I did, I did not lose ground. Well, I know I lost strength and stamina. But I didn’t gain weight. That’s pretty huge, because BBB (before Beachbody) I would have started up with my downhill, self-destructive spiral of not exercising so not bothering to eat healthy so not exercising, etc. I would have given up, yet again, on my plan and resigned myself to being heavy and unhealthy.
A lot of this is also why I wasn’t posting. I’m supposed to be talking about my journey. I’m supposed to be helping others on their journey. But how can I possibly help others when I’m floundering? That’s still a hard question for me to answer. People said, write anyway; your story will help others. But I couldn’t do it. If I didn’t have additional pounds lost to report, I wasn’t going to talk about being on this journey. If I wasn’t doing my workouts, how could I expect others to? If I couldn’t do this Beachbody coaching thing perfectly, apparently I wasn’t going to do it at all…
And then, finally, spring arrived. With the fresh air came a fresh outlook. My doctor eased up on his push for surgery, and I gave pickup soccer a try. It didn’t go well and I stepped out of the game after about 30 minutes after going ankle-to-ball-to-ankle with another player. But man did it feel good to move again! I pulled out my Beachbody programs and did a few. I jumped on my elliptical. I bought a Fitbit and challenged some friends to a steps competition. And tonight, on Mother’s Day, I played in a real soccer game. This time it went well, even though I was rusty and out of practice. It felt good even though I didn’t play well. Just the act of moving made it fun. And my teammates’ support made it fun.
So what have I learned from all of this? I think it’s too easy to look back on a time in our lives and be hard on ourselves. I obviously should have kept posting and blogging during the winter. I should have kept exercising in some form. I should have done a lot of things. When I look back on that time, my excuses fall flat. They were so flimsy! I should have seen the bigger picture. I should have gotten up, dusted myself off, and kept going. Should, should, should.
There’s that perfectionism! I should have done this better. I should have tried harder. This isn’t good enough; I’m going to do it over.
So I’m going to try to change things now. I’m going to try not being so hard on myself going forward. Yes, I’m on a journey to getting healthy. But no, I am not doing it perfectly. I’m stumbling. I’m losing and plateauing and losing again. I’m getting the blues and sometimes “not feeling it.” But I’m still here. I’m fighting. I’m not fighting perfectly, but I’m fighting.
Tonight, I just wanted to let you all know that this is what has been going on. This is why you haven’t heard from me. And this is something that I’ll be addressing more going forward.
In tonight’s soccer game, I scored an own-goal. That’s when a player scores a goal against his own team. It’s pretty embarrassing, and usually people don’t go home and tell everyone about it. It certainly isn’t a good thing. In fact, it’s about as imperfect as you can get. And yes, I had one today. I accidentally played the ball into my own team’s net, and the other team got a point. But tonight I’m going to embrace my imperfection and celebrate it! Whohooooo! Go me!!! (although I really hope that doesn’t happen again any time soon!!!) 🙂