Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street

by jodymulkey on August 27, 2011

I wish I could claim the wit needed to have come up with the title of this post. Unfortunately I can’t, it is a gem by the godfather of all motivational heroes Zig Ziglar.

One definition of failure is: “The inability to function or perform satisfactorily”.

My definition of failure is:
“The temporary inability to function of perform satisfactorily”.

I was reminded last night about the importance of that one extra word “temporary“.  Per the previous post I am deep in the midst of the 100 Pushups training program. Yesterday was Workout 3 of Week 4. I certainly believe that Week 4 is  where the program starts to separate the dedicated from the uncommitted. The ramp in training certainly gets much harder from here.

This week started out with the first workout being a total of 120 pushups and ended with the target total being 160.  I kind of knew that Friday’s workout was going to be tough when on Wednesday I barely, I mean barely did the target of 140. So alas yesterday for Week 4 Workout 3, I was only able to squeak out 140 pushups.

Said another way I failed to complete Week 4 Workout 3.

As my friend Matt tweeted last night it is kind of hard to think of 140 pushups as a failure.  Only 140 pushups,  as if that is something to be ashamed of.   As bummed as I am about not continuing my streak, I am pretty proud of the fact that I have gone from doing 52 pushups per workout to 140 in only 4 weeks.

I always have to remind myself that along the road to achieving any goal failures are going to happen.  Failures are just part of the journey, obstacles are just small walls that the committed get over and force the uncommitted to give up.  Not to get too cheesy, but I have to pull out a classic from Rocky Balboa “It’s not how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”. Persevering while you are winning is not all that difficult.  Success creates its own momentum, but dusting yourself off and getting back in the game after a setback takes courage, grit and in my case a whole lot more pushups!

So like I said I failed to complete Week 4 Workout 3.  I will be repeating the week’s workout which is just fine by me, it just means that my body isn’t ready to proceed and I need to redouble my efforts to getting to the next level.

Onwards and upwards,

–Jody

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