Progress is never linear. But it’s so easy to forget that when you’re in the middle of it; and forgetting that in any moment along that route usually means you end up frustrated. Frustrated leads to questioning, questioning leads to excuses, and suddenly you remember why progress is never linear. Whether it’s running, your career, life generally, progress is the same messy process. Maybe there’s a little comfort in that…
The last few weeks have been unusually rough. They’ve been full of stress, and questioning whether my goals are too big, or if I’m just not good enough to make them happen. My non-linear progress felt like it was going backward, and going backward at an alarming rate. My belief in myself waned terribly, and I became anxious about anything and everything.
When I emerged out from under the worst of it, I had a few conversations with people that reminded me this is what progress is. It’s messy and uncomfortable, and means working harder sometimes on things that should be easier.
These conversations also reminded me how as much as a person (since I’m writing this, let’s say it’s me) may want to be able to get through the tough stuff alone, but that’s just not possible. So instead of trying to make progress alone, finding those people that will put out a hand in those deep, dark moments, and pull you back up, even if it’s just to remind you that you are not alone. To those people in my life, thank you. I hope you know how much I appreciate you.
At the end of the worst of those days, I allowed myself to get back into my routine, and, unsurprisingly, I hadn’t lost the progress I’d made. Instead it reinforced that I was exactly where I should be, and gave me the feedback necessary to keep moving in that crazy, loopy, zig-zag route that is progress.