Does Your Sweet Spot Need to Evolve?

I couldn’t get to JackRabbit, the running store in my neighborhood, fast enough…

Me: I am in so much pain, and I’m told you have what I need.

Salesperson #1: What kind of pain? Emotional? (We all laugh.)

Me: No, I’m good there. It hurts here (me pointing to where on my body I hurt).

Salesperson #2: Have you been increasing your miles? Are you training for a race?

Me: Yes, and yes. How did you know?

Salesperson #2: What you’re experiencing is normal.

Since January 17th, I’ve logged 62.98 miles. I am training for my first half-marathon. And because I’ve been running for years, and have been running consistently for the last 15, some of my friends have wondered what took me so long.

Last Sunday, I was about to run nine miles and I couldn’t. I was in too much pain.

I first noticed the pain when I ran the previous Thursday; I felt it more acutely on Friday. But it didn’t interfere with either run so I just chalked my discomfort up to needing to take a day off from running and to stretch a bit more.

Turns out, I was partially right.

Being partially right has its limits, though.

Have you set a big, audacious goal? How are you preparing for it? Are you doing (more of) what you already know to do?

My big, audacious personal goal is to run four (4) half-marathons in 2015. And, weather-be-damned, I’ve been following a training schedule that increases my long-runs each week by a mile. I’ve been doing the exact same yoga stretches before each run – just as I’ve always done.

It took a friend with marathon experience and a salesperson at a running store (an expert) to point out that my pain was normal; it happens when you’re training and increasing your mileage each week. They also knew what I needed, and highlighted the difference between stretching and knowing which stretches to do and how!

Actually, I marveled at how quickly and easily they were each able to diagnosis my problem and what would fix it – simply by me pointing to what was hurting.

My relief came in the form of the GRID Foam Roller, which I now roll on every day. My hip flexor and glutes have never felt better — or as loose. By Tuesday, I was back to running! Within less than a week, it’s as if the pain wasn’t even there!!

Upon reflection, here’s what I find fascinating about my situation: It never occurred to me that I would experience a different type of muscle tightness and that the stretches that have served me well to date would no longer be enough.

Yes, I’m talking about running. But you could easily swap out “running” for managing your money, managing your career or business, or cultivating your relationships.

I am reminded of the disclaimer often stated in the financial services industry, especially when referring to mutual funds: past performance is not indicative of future results (or some variation thereof). Turns out, this applies to life, too.

You and I make goals. You take steps to achieve them. But, you are often blinded by what worked in the past. You have no clue that what you’re doing currently based upon how it worked in the past may actually hurt you more than help you. Sometimes, it’s hard to fathom that the behavior that successfully propelled you to this point isn’t sufficient to take you forward to the next level.

Sweet spots – that special combination of factors that contribute to your success – shift.

I needed a new stretching technique if I wanted to stay healthy as I train. But it took an expert and someone with more experience than me to point out what I was missing.

What I discovered on Sunday was that my sweet spot changed. Turns out, this isn’t so unusual.

Does your sweet spot need to evolve, too?

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