Progress is Perfection

Bike riding hasn’t been good to me lately, so my fitness in that area is sliding. I’m barely riding, emotionally eating, and feeling generally puffy and out of shape. However, a commercial from Silk made me cackle out loud it was so good.

The premise is “Progress is Perfection”: if you’re moving in the right direction it doesn’t matter if you’ve reached a “perfect” state. I’ve always been a tried and true perfectionist — second place isn’t good enough, not being on top at all times isn’t ok, etc. The lack of riding is getting to me, don’t get me wrong, but the great news is that I’ve used my newfound “free time” to dedicate myself to physical therapy and core work.

I have a phenomenal physical therapist who puts up with my analytical tendencies, thinks outside of the box, and gives me exercises that I’ll actually do. Let’s face it, if it involves more than 2 props (towels, bolsters, balloons, step stools, strategically placed walls) then I won’t comply. I prefer PT exercises I can do while on conference calls on a yoga mat in my office. Never mind that my office windows face the main entrance. People likely think I’m insane, but if it means I’m not in pain then I give no f*cks.

My physical therapist stumbled upon the conclusion that my back felt better during a week when I was out of the office for 3 days (one of those including a few hours of downhill skiing AND lots of biking all week long) vs. a week in the office which had me almost crippled with pain. Turns out, sitting and lack of movement is the enemy. We regrouped and the new plan is working! My focus on core work, flexibility, and moving my body regularly throughout the day is paying off, and my spine and nerves have felt amazing. PROGRESS.

On another front, my visit with a different specialist last week to learn more about why my calf hurts and goes numb while biking was also very informative. We have a plan in place to fix my lower leg issues and get me back on the bike. PROGRESS. (I’m being purposefully mum on that topic until the fix is underway, so stay posted.)

I’ve been reminding myself daily that “Progress IS Perfection” and it’s consoling me while I’m not biking much. I’m terrified I won’t be ready for some ultra events I have on deck this summer, but biking isn’t really happening right now. Instead, I’ll strengthen other areas of my body so I can ride better and healthier when the time comes.

I’ve endured numerous setbacks throughout life (haven’t we all?!) and I don’t consider myself to be all that special. I figure if I can pick myself back up time and time again, be a little vulnerable and accept the setback, and then start moving forward from that place, then you can too. After a setback, I have my requisite tantrum, stew for a short bit, and then decide that it’s not going to define me and I’m going to do the best I can with what I’ve been dealt. PROGRESS.

4 thoughts on “Progress is Perfection

  1. Rhonda Vedder says:

    Thanks for posting the inspiration of “Progress is Perfection”. As we all struggle with our own idea of perfection we lose sight of the progress that has been made along the way.
    Be strong and “Ride On” conquering the obstacles and setbacks that lay in your road to success in life as you would any hill, valley, or wind on your daily ride.
    Good luck and have faith in your journey as your attitude about your goals define your destiny.

  2. Take it from a Navy Veteran that has forged a career out of a relentless pursuit of improved efficiency and perfection. Seeking perfection is and will always be the ultimate goal, but also understand that you have to find a sustainable state of equilibrium in any given situation/set of variables.
    We were trained to a very high level of operational readiness at any given time, should the shit hit the fan, but the nuances and daily chores of life don’t just go away in those situations. Our responses to a threat agent were honed to be more muscle memory and reflex than pulling out a book and going by a recipe, but the enemy always gets a vote… The enemy being anything that goes counter to achieving your goal. Those enemies will always do something to disrupt your best laid plans, training, etc…
    Sometimes the enemy is within. I’ve battled him so many times, I’ve lost count; as I’m certain you have as well. One step is still a step and better than standing still. You got this, keep pushing forward (at a sustainable pace).
    As to core work, I’ve started using TRX for mobile training, without being tied to a gym or specific regimen.

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