Last year was a massive learning year for me – probably the most educational 365 days of my life for so many reasons and on many fronts.
If I were to just look at how my attitude toward running and fitness changed, the most valuable lesson I learned last year was that perfectionism is great … for turning you into a total basket case (and not much else).
Prior to 2015, my highest mileage year was just over 1200 miles. Impressive, yes. But completely miserable. I could tell that for the entire year, I was teetering on the edge of physical and mental breakdown at every moment. Not long after hitting that number – in addition to an obscene amount of HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes all year long – I suffered multiple stress fractures in my right leg. Coincidence … I think not.
Then in 2015, I ended the year with more than 1700 miles in my mileage log. But more impressive than that number was the fact that I didn’t spend a single day of the year injured or feeling on the verge of physical destruction.
What changed? My mindset. I started listening to my body, working with (not against) it and stopped being so hard on myself when things didn’t go perfectly.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with and training enough athletes to know that this perfectionism pitfall is real and widespread. I say: enough.