Dealing with disappointment

Disappointment: 1.The feeling of sadness, dissatisfaction or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or the failure of expectations to manifest.

We all make plans, have dreams and set goals. The question inevitably is, will my dreams materialize or end in failure? The saying goes that “the only thing certain about life is uncertainty” and therefore my attempts at reaching my goal may end in the uncertainty of glorious victory or in frustrating defeat. That’s life.

Yesterday was one of those disappointing days. For the past 12 weeks I have been training for a half-marathon. And yesterday, in my eyes, there was no glorious crossing of the finish line, but instead a frustrating defeat as I walked/ran/stumbled the last 9kms of the course to finish in a disappointing time of 2 hours and 22 minutes. My goal was 2 hours. I can use all the excuses in the book but they are irrelevant now. The fact remains: I didn’t run my race with perseverance. I may have finished, but I didn’t finish well. The pain I felt at the end of the race was just as much emotional as it was physical. I was, quite simply, gutted with what I perceived to be failure. I’d given up. I hadn’t run the whole way. I couldn’t tick “completed half-marathon” off my bucket list.

The question I have to ask myself 24 hours later is, just because things didn’t go the way I’d hoped they would, is it really that bad?

Thankfully I have had a lot of great advice and wisdom from my friends as they have helped me deal with my disappointment of yesterday. Most people congratulated me and reminded me of what a huge thing I had achieved. I have been reminded that it’s ok to ‘feel’ my feelings of disappointment and negativity but then it’s time to get moving. It’s ok to feel disappointed that the race didn’t go according to my plan, but I can’t change it now, so I simply must just move forward.

My favourite advice I received for dealing with disappointment is this:

  • Take 2 days off to rest.
  • Do not be so hard on yourself.
  • Eat.
  • Sleep.
  • Continue being awesome.

“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” Unknown

I think it’s time to soak my feet and get training again – only 12 weeks until the next half-marathon!


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