It's almost the end of 2014 and I still have not run an official sub-24 5k. (I can't count my last 5k, since it was only like two miles long.) Yesterday I ran another 5k and finished 2nd in my small age group, but I did not run sub-24. In my defense, it was snowy and hilly. Well, the snow technically melted before the race, but it was hilly. Excuses, excuses. I felt good and ran hard, just not hard enough.
Do you ever make excuses? I do. A lot. I make excuses for not running hard enough (see above), for being negative, for not being nice to my family. The excuses I use most often are related to having MS. I feel tired or dizzy, so I act bitchy. I am overcome with worries about my health, so I am scared to try as hard as I could or run as fast as I could. Most people probably would say that having MS is a pretty good excuse. But it's still an excuse, and it holds me back.
An excuse isn't just a thing you tell yourself after the fact, to explain your lame behavior. It's also a thing you have in your mind when you decide to be lame. You think, "It's raining really hard, no one would fault me for cutting this run short," or, "They know I am sick, so they'll understand why I don't show up." An excuse is how you let yourself off the hook. My husband Sean says people "cut deals" with themselves to act a certain way. After 12 years I am starting to understand what he means.
This isn't to say that there are never legitimate reasons for things turning out differently than you'd planned. Shit happens. Only you know if you made an excuse.
What if, instead of using MS as the reason I act like a turd, I tried to be my best self despite having it? If I feel crappy, I can still try my hardest. I can still smile and be pleasant. I can still run my ass off.
Do you have excuses that are holding you back? What would happen if you stopped using them?