I got a frustrating bout of reality today.
It has been one of those days where I just haven't been able to get out for exercise. I was coaching down the pool this morning and then I was in an all day meeting which meant no gym. I was okay with all those restrictions though because I was determined to get on the bike tonight. However, once I was home from work the reality of life set in as I saw the endless list of tasks that sat between me and the bike and eventually bed. It was one of those circumstances where I could have forced it and got on the bike, but it simply wouldn't have been a good idea, most likely resulting in a stressful evening followed by insufficient sleep and then a tired day tomorrow. One of those frustrating times where the obvious smart choice isn't the one you want to make.
Still, deep down I know it was the right call. I am not exercising for anything in particular at the moment, other than getting fitter, and so missing one session in the interest of making life easier isn't actually a big deal. In fact, in this case it really was the right thing to do. As frustrating as those choices are for athletes, they do happen. Training consistently is very important and you don't want to give yourself excuses to skip sessions, but some days you simply can't deny the fact that not training like you want is the way things need to go.
So what do you do in those situations?
Well, you can get annoyed and frustrated, take it out on those around you and perhaps even try to cram the missed session into your life over the coming days.
You can get over it and yourself, accept that things are they way they have to be and get on with your life. Saving your energy for focusing on another session on another day.
Guess which is the smarter option?
In the bigger picture that one session isn't going to derail a season from a fitness perspective (as long as it really is the occasional session). However, missing a session when necessary can make a big difference to the health of your life, whether it is missed for family, or work or some other reason. If cramming that session in is going to do more harm to your overall health (taking account both mental and physical) then perhaps missing it is the best course of action.
Of course knowing that and accepting it are two very different things. Something I am finding right at this very moment in fact.