Acceptance has always been a difficult thing for me.
I am a goal-driven person and when I’m on a path to achieve my goals, it energizes me. When I can’t reach a goal, I get depressed, lethargic, and feel like a failure.
Throwback to 8 years ago when I used to call myself a “runner.”
I LOVED running. It brought me so much joy to run. I could escape for a couple of hours and just meditate during a long run. Quite honestly, it was keeping me sane through a divorce and starting grad school by being able to run for 1-2 hours every day. I was also training for 2 half marathons.
Until the day I was no longer a runner.
I fell off my bike and tore my PCL. It’s not something that usually requires surgery so I’m a missing a ligament in my right knee.
After that fateful day, I could no longer run. I was devastated and fell into a depression for many months. I just could not accept that I was no longer a runner.
Over the years I’ve been able to run 3-4 miles max before my knee starts hurting or gives out. It’s always frustrated me because I love running so much.
I finally moved on to other forms of exercise and more recently, got really into lifting.
Until the day I strained my arm and ended up with lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).
I haven’t been able to do any upper body lifting for a few weeks now and let’s just say, I’m not handling it well.
There have been tears over this injury because I can’t reach my lifting goals or do what I like to do. So, I’ve been doing a lot more leg workouts including running on the treadmill which is easier on my knee than running outdoors.
I don’t have any expectations for myself when I run on the treadmill because I simply stop if my knee hurts. Instead of getting upset over not reaching a goal, I just enjoy working out for the sake of exercise and being indoors with the air conditioning. (It’s over 100 degrees right now where I live!)
I’ve run over 4 miles a couple of times and thought, wow that’s awesome! I haven’t run that far in 8 years!
Today, instead of being irritated once again that I can’t lift with my injured arm, I made the conscious choice to accept my new injury and run on the treadmill.
I felt good so I just kept going. No expectations for distance or speed. In fact, I was actually reflecting on how accepting my arm injury has lifted some of this lethargy feeling.
And today, I can’t believe I’m even writing this, I ran 6 miles on the treadmill with NO knee pain!
Acceptance is hard. Especially if you're one of those people who like motivational speakers and enjoy pushing yourself toward goals in life. When something is in your way of achieving those goals, like an injury, a person, finances, rejection... it's challenging on your mental state.
Whatever it is that you are up against, try accepting instead of resisting.
Because sometimes acceptance is the key to finding happiness and it might actually be the thing that pushes you to try something new.
What do you need to start accepting today?