Today’s workout nearly did me in. Like on the verge of tears, huffing and puffing, covered in sweat, not sure if I was going to pass out or throw up. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t have enough fuel in the tank when I started, or if I had psyched myself out. I don’t THINK it was actually the moves. Although they were tough and fast, and it was a longer workout than I have done in a while, I don’t think they were beyond my ability.

This was all mental. This was me not thinking I could do it. This was me feeling like I was FAILING.

And then I realized. I didn’t fail. I actually finished the workout. I may not have done every single move perfectly, and I modified a LOT. And I took a lot of breaks to catch my breath and drink more water. But I finished the workout. So why did I think I failed?

FAIL

fāl/
verb
1. be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal
2. neglect to do something.

When you look at the actual definition, I didn’t FAIL. I succeeded in completing the workout. I didn’t neglect to do it, I didn’t stop. I might not have finished it as WELL as I wanted to, but I still finished it.

Why are we so quick to call things FAILURE? Why do we tell ourselves we didn’t do well enough?

To have failed at something means you TRIED. It means you moved the needle. It means you did SOMETHING to move closer to your goals. And that doesn’t equal failure. It just means you haven’t found the best way to do something, or that you need to practice more to get stronger, to get better.

It seems like my instinct is to go to the negative. Why? Why don’t we congratulate ourselves for the success of trying? Maybe it’s because I know we can do better and I don’t want to settle. I don’t want it to be OKAY that didn’t do as well as I wanted. I don’t want to say to myself “It’s okay, this level is fine. You don’t have to work harder.” I want to live a life of continuous improvement. And there will be failures along the way. And that is okay, as long as you FAIL FORWARD.

After my workout this morning I went live on Facebook. I shared my feelings and got completely raw. My defences were DOWN.

Today was harder than any workout has ever been. And while I felt nearly destroyed by the end, I actual feel like it was the best thing that could have happened. I was reminded that I WANT THIS. I was reminded that I want to GET BETTER.

I didn’t fail. I failed forward.