When it just doesn’t work…

In recipes, as in life, things sometimes just don’t work out. Backyard parties get rained out, alarms don’t go off when they should, boxed eggwhites just can’t get stiff enough, or you know, you were sick for the last two weeks of your training cycle. Sometimes bad things happen to (mostly) good people. And then what?

I have learned to embrace plan B. When you live in a place that gets wet more than the front two rows of the Dolphin Exhibit at Sea World, you actually have to, since it will quite litterally be a sink or swim situation if you don’t. But it is amazing what a positive attitude and a bit of perspective can bring to the table.

This, for instance, is a pavlova I made today. I asked myself this morning: “Self, can one make pavlova out of boxed eggwhites?” As it turns out, one cannot. Well, not perfect pavlova. But cut it in squares, add cream and strawberries, layer and voila! Plan B Pavlova!

I try to view everything in my life as a learning opportunity. A chance for growth and knowledge. This doesn’t make me immune to heartache or disappointment, but it definitely helps me move through the hard times. Keep in mind, I did say that I “try” to be all enlightened and mindful of the unplanned crap. It’s not always easy! Here are a few strategies that work for me:

Plan: Use the calendar on your phone or fridge, but write your intentions down! If you want to run, schedule it in! Writing goals down make you 83% more likely to achieve them. (Totally made that statistic up, but it could very well be true.

Prepare: Make sure you have everything you need to achieve your goal. The running gear, the childcare, the rain jacket that you left in the truck – go fetch it! So that when it’s time to move, you aren’t using your unpreparedness as an excuse.

Be accountable: People who use apps like Runkeeper or Garmin or Nike+ often get made fun of for posting every run. People might get annoyed, but they are free to unfollow you if it bothers them that much. I know for me, having a few friends kinda get used to my running posts when I just started up, made them ask me “what’s up” when I don’t run for a while. I personally don’t post every run on Social Media anymore, but I do talk about my plans and goals in person and on my blog. Feel free to ask me about them! It makes me accountable to more than just myself.

Reward: This one works for me, but not everyone would be quite this juvenile in their motivators, but boy, do I love a prize! Haha. A participant medal, a race shirt, a cold, free beer at the finish line… Hmmmm! Or sometimes, a promise to myself, like a massage (although I’m a little nervous about tomorrow’s hip/glute massage – ouch), a pedicure or a new running gadget. Try to avoid food rewards though. Beer isn’t food.

Sometimes it’s not the Pavlova you wanted, but it teaches you something you didn’t know. Sometimes it’s not a Sub2 Half Marathon, but you made a friend along the way. Sometimes it’s not exactly a “good meal” but it contains eggs and fruit and tomorrow is your birthday, so you eat it anyway. Life has a way of working itself out if we stop focusing on how we thought it was going to be.