Friday, March 14, 2014

Suffering Setbacks In Life, and Using Them As Motivation For the Future.

Perfection is a false reality that does not exist. Although the majority of people are aware that attaining perfection isn't a reality, a good portion of people still aim to achieve it. I feel there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to achieve the best outcome that you possibly can in various situations, or even striving to be the best person in this life that you can possibly be. However, I sometimes believe that many of us view the setbacks and disappointments that happen in our lives as total failures. Many of us set out upon a journey with reckless abandon to achieve a goal, and if we just so happen to not reach those goals, we sometimes view ourselves as failures. I recently had what I would consider a humbling experience that I would like to share in this week's edition of 'Brad H.'s Perspective'.

What's good people? It's ya boy Brad H. back at you again with another blog posting. Hope all is well and good with everyone. For this week's post, I'm going to share with you all an event that I was involved last week, and use it as an example of how it relates to the topic of this post. Last week was not only a physically painful week for me, it was also a stressful one as well. I feel like what I endured last week is a fairly good example of how having setbacks and disappointments does not always equate to being a failure. We just have to use those setbacks as a motivating force for future events that we will encounter. If any of you have been a regular reader of my blog posts, you've probably seen mention of an annual 5K race that I've run in for the past three years. I enjoy being active and having the experience of running in this race. However, the primary reason that I've done this race three straight times is because it normally takes place right before my birthday. Since I value the old saying that "health is wealth", I've always viewed participating in the race as a birthday gift to give myself.

Now besides enjoying the overall experience of participating in the Gusher/Kinsel Ford 5K, my initial goal when I registered was to beat my previous running times from the past two years. I had high hopes towards the end of 2013 when I decided that I would participate, as I was reaching a level of activity through running that I haven't experienced in a few years. I would dare say that I was somewhat at the level I was when I was a bit younger. However, unfortunately in late November of 2013, I went through another stage of inactivity after a close family member passed away. I basically went almost an entire month without doing any running, or any exercise for that matter. When I finally was mentally ready to start back training again, it felt like I was starting all over again. Just getting through one mile of jogging was a challenge within itself. Saying that getting back into the groove of things as you get a bit older is an understatement. However, after a month or so of training again, I began to make progress; but once again I had to take some time off due to knee problems and consistent bad weather.

Since I had it in my mind to do this race in 2013, I went ahead and registered for the race knowing that I hadn't been training properly. At any rate, I still held onto hope that there would be a slim chance that I would able to beat my race times from the previous years. Then six days before the event, everything came crashing down on me. The Sunday before the race, I lifted a dresser for a family member and hurt my back. Ouch! Instead of using the few days before the race to train, I pretty much had to rest because of the pain that I was experiencing. I thought about just pulling out of the race altogether, and I would have had to if it were only a day or two after the back injury. I just couldn't see myself running at all with a bad back. My back slowly got better during the week, but it was not 100 percent whatsoever. Not only was my back being a hinderance, my mental state wasn't where it needed be either. Despite the bleak outlook, I went ahead and participated in the race.

So you're probably wondering how did I do? Well, I ran my slowest time out of the three years I've done this race, but I did cross the finish line. Following the race, I felt extremely down on myself for not reaching the goal I wanted to obtain. It took me talking to and corresponding with other people to realize that I was being too hard on myself. People were telling me that I should be happy that I finished, and that I was only 3 minutes slower than my fastest time despite a bad back and little training. They were saying things like; "Imagine how well you would have done if you hadn't injured your back, and you did train properly for the race?" When I began to focus on the positive things that I was hearing, I realized that I indeed was being too hard on myself. A humbling experience, but it helped me to realize even more that having setbacks are all about how you handle them.

I'm going to go ahead and bring this week's post to a close, but the main point is that setbacks, failures, and disappointments are all a state of mind. When we have unfortunate situations and setbacks in our lives, it's totally up to us on how we choose to handle them. We can either wallow in them and allow them to take us out of the game completely, or we can use them as motivation for doing and being better in the future. I know this sounds like a simple concept, but sometimes it takes other people telling us that it's okay to fail sometimes. What matters most is as long as you pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. This message goes way beyond just running in a race; it's about all aspects of life, as there will always be disappointments and setbacks that will happen throughout life.

Well that's it for this week's edition of 'Brad H.'s Perspective'. As with all of my posts, everything that I've written applies to me and I how I strive to live. I hope that you enjoyed reading, and hopefully you can relate some of this post to the setbacks that we're all going to have in the future. I also want to apologize for being away and not writing last week, but now you all know why. Everything is fairly back to normal now, so I'll see you all in the next post. Till then, everyone stay up and keep on maintaining. Peace!

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