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    LDRICHEL   49,075
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The Best Laid Plan

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Friday, December 07, 2012

In training, as in life, the best laid plan will always be just that: a plan.

This is a key lesson I'm learning as I enter Week 5 of my 52-week training plan. Because of a schedule issue, I had to do some re-arranging of workouts this week, leaving me triple booked yesterday. There was that groundbreaking, wonderful one-mile swim early in the morning. But, as I reported, my legs began to feel achy mid-day. Still, I had scheduled a spin class for 5pm and weight lifting at 7:15pm.

As soon as I got to spin class and the instructor led us into the first stand/jump section of the workout, my legs cried out. I did the very best I could for as long as possible, but about 2/3 of the way into the class, I simply couldn't follow everyone else in terms of resistance and standing. So, I did all I could do, which was sprint the entire last third of the class. It was the first time I've ever wondered if I might not be able to finish. But I did finish with a total of 18 miles. And I was proud of myself.

After spin, my body clearly said to me, "I'm done for today. That's enough. I will not perform for you anymore." So...I ditched the weight lifting. And I'm OK with that.

The simple truth is...sometimes our plans don't work the way we hope they will.

Training hours end up getting cut or made up elsewhere.

A job you thought you'd love somehow morphs into something that creates a horrible lump in the pit of your stomach every Sunday night.

A seemingly romance-filled relationship succumbs to the harsh demands of reality and love fades...sometimes even dies completely.

Things happen in life and you question long-held beliefs...you're forced to think about why you believe what you've always said you believed.

These disruptions to the plan are sometimes harmless, sometimes heart wrenching. But the beauty of a well laid out plan is...it's written in pencil. You can erase and you can re-write. And, when you do so, be sure to keep this in mind: if you have to make yourself fit into your plan, it will probably fail. A truly great plan will be designed to fit YOU.

When my legs clearly weren't going to cooperate last night, I listened and gave them a bit of a break...without completely giving up on my goals. Weight lifting was scrapped and my body was thankful for it. This morning, the schedule called for another one hour swim...but I was tired and my body was weary. The moment I got in the water, my arms were feeling yesterday's swim. So, I adjusted.

I mentally erased the plan and re-wrote it. New objective: gentle, easy 30 minute swim. Not trying to break any records...just do what I can do.

Sometimes erasing a part of the plan is as simple as that. Other times, it requires an unparalleled inner strength. There is a beautiful secret to our training, though. The longer you train, the more reserves you build. One day, you realize there is a tough choice...a change to the plan...and you are surprised...because you find inside you a wealth of courage that wasn't there before. That courage leads to action. And that action changes everything.

If you find yourself dreading the morning commute because you just don't want to walk into that office....re-write. Take a step of courage and look for other possibilities, grow your skills, ask friends for leads.

If your marriage was over long ago and no one cares to admit it...re-write. Dare to imagine what you could do if you were given a second chance at life and love.

If you find you're coming up against ideas over and over again that go against the grain of everything you've been taught....re-write. Dive into your sacred texts, think hard and work with your higher power to figure things out...for you, not dependent on what anyone else thinks or believes.

Finally...recognize that sometimes a change in plan will yield results you never expected.

When I set foot in that aquatic center this morning, I was shocked to find it almost empty. For the first time...well, EVER...I had an entire lane to myself for the entire duration of my swim. There were no water aerobics classes near me, no flailing swimmers in other lanes. It was completely quiet. Completely peaceful. I did my usual 850m in 30 mins and decided to call it a day. Because I'd shown up so early, I had a lot of time after my swim, so I treated myself to a post-swim soak in the hot tub.

That hot tub was wonderful...like a reward for every bit of hard work I've put into my training this week. When I sunk into that relaxing water, it was as if every horrible and painful occurrence from this week just fell away and there was relief and peace. At the same time, it afforded me the opportunity to think more deeply about every wonderful and amazing thing that happened to me this week and genuinely thank God for those things.

Sometimes, when we change our plan (as scary as it may be to do so)...it yields unexpected results.

Peace
Joy
New Love
Purpose

Let's all examine our plan. If you don't have one, it would be a good thing to think about creating one. If you do have one, don't forget to regularly check in with it and make sure it's still working for you, as opposed to you working for it.

See you at the finish line, friends.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEAU2010 12/7/2012 10:31PM

    What I love about your flexibility is the simple wisdom. Without it, an upcoming blog would contain news of an injury that would really muck up your schedule!

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REGILIEH 12/7/2012 9:58PM

    I think there is nothing worse than having to deal with change but it builds character! Sometimes I have to build more character than I think I want, but it is good for you.
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CHARTHESTAR 12/7/2012 8:48PM

    Change is hard sometimes just like listening to your body. You need to give it time to repair itself. REMEMBER THAT! Definitely Push it BUT Don't abuse it.

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KARENLEIGH32 12/7/2012 6:51PM

    Glad you pointed this out, when you need to change something its not as if you have given up.

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MOM-MOM8 12/7/2012 6:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LINDAK25 12/7/2012 4:21PM

    Change is really hard. It takes courage to do so.

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PEGGYO 12/7/2012 3:44PM

    emoticon

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CAT-IN-CJ 12/7/2012 3:30PM

    My philosophy exactly . . . factor in mid-course-adjustments
and always be ready to Dare To Dream Again!
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NKOUAMI26 12/7/2012 3:18PM

    I enjoyed tremendously these thoughts and the way you discussed them.
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ROSES4ME1 12/7/2012 2:39PM

    There are so many things to think about in your message! Have a plan, be flexible for circumstances, listen to your body and your heart, rewite or scrap the plan if its not working for you instead of suffering through ,,, and, most important message for me, know and trust yourself enough to know when change is a good thing.
Thanks!! Lots to think about.

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CINDHOLM 12/7/2012 12:34PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ARW715 12/7/2012 12:07PM

    Thanks for writing this.

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ISABELLE31 12/7/2012 11:46AM

    As usual, I love your perspective. You're so motivating to me!

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ASHPATCH11 12/7/2012 11:28AM

    what great blog! smart to listen to your body! you rock!

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COCK-ROBIN 12/7/2012 11:06AM

    Very good. You listened to your body and profited from it. 'No pain, no gain' is such a myth that has led to injuries.

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GOSPARK45 12/7/2012 11:04AM

    Very though provoking. Pertains to many areas of life. Thank you.

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SLIMLEAF 12/7/2012 10:42AM

    Well done, Leah!

You're doing an excellent job and getting the right balance between training and resting. emoticon

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 12/7/2012 10:38AM

    "If your marriage was over long ago and no one cares to admit it...re-write. Dare to imagine what you could do if you were given a second chance at life and love".... This made me cry. My marriage was over a long time ago. BUT, like you.... we will give love another try

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NITTINNANA 12/7/2012 10:34AM

    I just love your insight, both into yourself and into life on general. Thanks for sharing!

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AMANDAROX 12/7/2012 10:16AM

    Love Love Love this blog! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 12/7/2012 10:03AM

    It is hard sometimes when plans have to change but being flexible and adapting is, in the long run, so much easeir and has more rewards than being inflexible and trying to make the plan work, even if it's going to hurt us. Or being inflexible and adapting but hating every minute of it. Great blog.

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FITBIZZZ 12/7/2012 9:42AM

    I think the biggest lesson I get out of this blog post is to have a plan. Simple as that. Look at all you accomplished with your plan even though it was re-written. Well done and thanks for sharing.

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RUNNER12COM 12/7/2012 9:34AM

    From your keyboard to the deepest parts of my brain. Such great advice. Thank you for this.

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NILLAPEPSI 12/7/2012 9:29AM

    emoticon You are very inspiring.

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GINGERHAWK 12/7/2012 9:27AM

    Thanks for the reminder. It's so easy to falter when things don't go according to our plan. During the holiday season I find that I need to adjust a little more and it's key to accept this and to keep moving forward in a positive direction and not be derailed along the way. Nice job for keeping a plan that is flexible enough to work with the reality of your life.

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KJELLYBEAN15 12/7/2012 9:14AM

    Thank you. I always look forward to reading your blogs. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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SENIORSWIMMER 12/7/2012 9:04AM

    The quote in my planner this morning was from Helen Keller. For some reason today it really resonated in me. "To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." Keep my face toward change. That's the part that got to me.

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IMAGINE46 12/7/2012 8:53AM

  Great blog and inspirational as usual. Thank you! emoticon

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DJSHIP46 12/7/2012 8:52AM

    Thank you for sharing your journey... it is inspiring!!!

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CARAFAE37 12/7/2012 8:45AM

    Listening to your body is so important! I had tired legs this week and I had to stay away from zumba for the evening.

Today is a rest day and I'm still trying to be ok with that. We shall see how it goes! Keep on going though! You are doing great!

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NEWMOM20121 12/7/2012 8:45AM

    Wonderful blog. I always love reading your blogs. You are Strong. Keep it up.

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