Over the course of the summer Mr. Lively and I have started to run together and recently trained for and completed a 15k (9.3 miles) Hot Chocolate race here in Chicago last Saturday.
It was Mr. Lively’s first official race, and we had a great time training during the week and on weekends. Because of the shared training, we did most of our workouts for the last few months together.
Now that the race is over and winter is hitting Chicago quickly, I am focused on not losing the momentum and drive to workout that I have gained during training. I don’t want to coast into a lazy winter.
On Tuesday we had planned to workout, but at the last minute we decided to skip the workout. Instead we drank wine, ate a cookie dessert for dinner, and played Connect Four all night. It was delightful.
But as you can imagine, I was also eager for the Wednesday night workout.
However, when Mr. Lively came to my apartment after work on Wednesday, he didn’t feel like working out. So I grumbled, and headed out the door to workout on my own.
For a while, I was actually a bit upset that he didn’t want to do the workout. After all, I didn’t really “want” to workout that night either; I would have rather cooked and watched tv. But instead, I got myself to the gym to do what I know was best for myself and my intention to stay on track with winter workouts.
Yet I have to admit, after the run I really did feel better physically and mentally. I was glad that I went on my own and completed my intention.
While in the shower, I had a breakthrough;
Having an Accountability Partner is not the same as holding your partner accountable.
My initial frustration over the fact that Mr. Lively didn’t work out was because I was holding him accountable for my own intention to work out that evening.
We had never shared an official plan or intention to help each other workout after the race, but I had been used to the previous routine and assumed that he would share my unsaid intentions. And therefore, I was leaning on him to help me get my butt out the door and workout, despite the fact that we had never discussed it.
I held him accountable for my intention.
Not cool. Not even fair.
The only person I am accountable to with my intentions in any area of my life is myself. I can seek help and support in what I do, but I cannot expect others to fulfill my intentions, without properly dicussing it beforehand. Furthermore, I should be able to craft a vision for my intentions and follow through on my own, regardless of other people. I can lean on myself for the internal motivation and discipline, rather than blame others on my lack of follow through or desire.
Ultimately, my accountability is to myself.