Conditions – more specifically, perfect conditions. I recently participated in a women’s half marathon. It took a while for me to commit to the venture, and by the time I did, I only had about twelve weeks to get into shape. Less than perfect conditions.
I found a handy chart that plotted the daily workouts I would need to complete to prepare me for the big day. I followed the plan faithfully…well, mostly faithfully. Less than perfect conditions.
Over the past few years I have allowed a few extra pounds to creep on. Well, maybe more than a few. It isn’t easy to lug around several sacks of potatoes, as I like to lovingly call my extra weight. I had hoped to lose at least some of it by the race, but even with the extra exercise, I just couldn’t seem to shed any serious poundage, so I would be carting those potato bags with me on race day. Less than perfect conditions.
Prior to the race, the longest distance I had walked at one time was a little over 11 miles. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. I was venturing into unknown territory wondering if I would have the endurance to go a little further than I had before. Less than perfect conditions.
Race day was clear and beautiful. The sun was shining brightly…at times, a little too brightly. It got warm…much warmer than my climate controlled gym. In workouts, I stayed the course…a flat course void of inclines; however, the race course had several hills that I was not prepared for. Less than perfect conditions.
Oh, and I waited until I turned 50 to give this half marathon thing a try. Really less than perfect conditions.
In spite of all the ways that conditions were less than perfect for me to participate in this race, I ran it anyway. Well, run may be a bit of an exaggeration, it was more like an awkward walk/jog thing. And, you know what? It was a blast! I found the endurance to complete 13.1 miles on my own two feet, in spite of a lack of training, never having gone that far before, heat and hills, and extra weight. Conditions were far less than perfect, and yet, it was perfect.
How many times in life do we avoid doing something because we are waiting for perfect conditions? As one who marginally struggles with perfectionism and expectations, I am the first to admit that I can easily fall into this trap and believe the lie. And it is a lie, after all. There is no such thing as perfect conditions. At best we may be able to achieve ideal conditions, but perfect? I don’t think so.
So what are you waiting for? Perfect conditions? I hope not!