I stole this picture from a friend cuz I love it.
Last summer, ramping up my training for the English Channel was HARD. At first, I was stressed about my progress (or lack of). I wasn’t hitting my time goals, my distance goals, my weight loss goals. I was frustrated and getting discouraged. I debated quitting, rescheduling, and giving up. Eventually, I came to the realization that I was getting better and stronger, even if it wasn’t at the rate I wanted. And even though I wasn’t the same as “before” and my body felt different, I was still capable, worthy of giving a big swim a shot. When people would ask me how my training was going (like really asking, not just a casual “how’s it going?), I started responding that it was going pretty well and that I was learning to give myself some grace.
Once I learned to let go of my expectations of perfection and the need to be the same swimmer I was before cancer, I found I was back to enjoying the training again. Once there was room to fail, I actually felt my confidence increasing. My body IS different and allowing myself the space to acknowledge those changes as facts, not failures, did so much for me. My training was not perfect this past summer. But I still kept at it, doing my best every day, and gave myself the grace to be imperfect, to try again tomorrow, and the determination to stick with it. And everything worked out just fine.