Accountability

The good thing about publicizing a goal is that it makes one somewhat accountable.  The bad thing about publicizing a goal is that it makes one somewhat accountable.  Several years ago I joined a marathon training group in Oakville, Ontario.  The leader urged us to shout to the world that we’d signed up to run a marathon.  By doing so we’d become excited and it would explain why we were going to run hundreds of training miles, often in terrible weather.  More than that, because everyone knew about the goal, it would be very hard to slack off and/or miss workouts.

From 2005 to 2007 I trained with a group of seven gals who were all, like me, training to complete a first Ironman race.  We called ourselves the FAB’s, or Fu**ing Accountability Buddies.  Feeling lazy?  Too bad, they’re waiting for you.  Partied too hard last night?  You should have thought of that, because they’re waiting for you.  Of course they were also there if you got a flat tire, struggled on a hill or just wanted company on a long session.  That group has changed; I moved away, some found other interests and one sadly lost a battle with breast cancer.

This past weekend I had a minor, really minor, spill off my bike at the end of a 70km ride.  I got some bruises, a sore neck and a couple of slightly sprained fingers.  Oh, and a lot of wounded pride!  I spent a day wondering whether it was time to pack in the training and just not race this year, or maybe ever.

Then I remembered how much I enjoy race day and the level of fitness that goes with getting there.   I’ve hit the reset button and will continue to train as hard as is appropriate on a given day.  Who knows what race day will bring?  My plan is to be there at the start line to see.  I no longer have Team FAB, but I feel accountable to myself and know that giving up isn’t an option.

Related, in a way – I posted last week, while I was watching Jordan Spieth at the Masters’ Golf Championship.  While I was writing, Jordan was far ahead of all of the other golfers and seemed destined to win his second straight Masters’.  Things went south for Jordan and, try as he might, he couldn’t recover; he tied for second.  As a professional athlete Jordan is accountable to sponsors, media and fans.  Ultimately, though, he’s accountable only to himself – at 22, tough to grasp.  He’s still FABulous in my books!

As always, thanks for reading.

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