Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Excel at Failure

There are (no) excuses for not blogging.

I am a fast writer. I barely proof read what I write. I just whip something out and hope to get a quick laugh. I started a blog, wrote for a little while, and then *poof*. I stopped. It's the story of my life.

I was looking at my blog this morning and I realized I didn't post a single thing in the month of July, and it's already the third week of August.

I am a bad bad blogger.

I guess this means I am disappointing all 14 of my followers. I guess this means I will never make internet fame. I guess this means I fail. But by failing, maybe I win?

I have excuses.

I have reasons.

Mostly... I just haven't gotten around to writing anything down. Also, I have been doing stuff in the "real world"... the one that doesn't require a keyboard. Most notably, I have been failing at all kinds of crazy things.

So, I have decided to reveal the deep and dark thing that I like to call the "Leauxra Project Life Cycle", so if you want, you can be a failure just like me.


  1. Decide you want to change something in your life, big or small, or that you want to start some kind of project. It doesn't matter what the project is. You can be trying to lose weight. You could be training for a race. You could be trying to do some kind of home improvement project, or even something as simple as getting your laundry done and clothing put away. It doesn't matter what it is, but there does have to be some kind of "end goal" in sight.

  2. Get very excited about how whatever it is you are going to do is going to TOTALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE. For example, when I decided to sign up for the Bolder-Boulder last spring, I started training. I got all kinds of excited about how awesome it would be to run fast. I would totally lose weight just by using up my calories every day, and I would be in shape, too.

  3. Start daydreaming about how AWESOME life will be when you get to your goal, even though you have barely started whatever you are doing. Imagine the wonderful food you will have from the garden you just planted. This year, I planted strawberry and rhubarb roots to add to the two strawberry plants I already have that somehow survived the long winter without me doing anything for them.

  4. Spend more time dreaming about how AMAZING life will be once you finish, than actually doing anything to accomplish your goal. After I signed up for the Bolder-Boulder, but before I actually got going with any, you know, TRAINING, I also signed up for another race. It is called the Wild West Relay. It is a 12 person team race from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs, 200 miles long. It is split into 36 legs, and each person takes 3, for an average of about 16 miles each.

  5. Do not allow reality to seep in until it is too late. Gardens require water. Just so you know.

  6. Realize you are going to fail. I spent so much time planning and organizing for the Bolder-Boulder, I never did train for it. About a week out, I realized it was too late. I wasn't ready, and there was no way to BE ready before it started.

  7. Think about quitting, dropping out, selling the house, or just running away and becoming homeless so that you won't have to live with the shame of failing. Again. I did eventually water the dry dirt that was supposed to be my garden. It became wet dirt, AKA mud, but it didn't make everything spring magically back to life.

  8. Do some small thing around the house that you can complete. Laundry is good for that. It requires little effort, and minimal "paying attention". Generally, I fail at laundry, too. There is no where to put the clean things once I have washed, dried, and folded them, so I often dump the clean clothes on top of the dresser, and then I can pick up the dirty clothes from the floor and put them in the basket. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment, which leads to step 9.

  9. Have a sudden, overwhelming feeling of optimism. My dad used my muddy "garden" and put in some pumpkins and cucumbers so I didn't feel bad about it anymore. I went to the Bolder-Boulder with high hopes.

  10. Have your hopes come crashing down. (See FTW! Crawling Over the Finish Line).

  11. You will get through whatever you planned. It might be half-assed, but you will make it. You won't quit. All your dreams of being an Olympic marathon runner or living off of the produce in your garden will shrivel up and die, much like your garden.

  12. Relief. It's over. You don't have to think about it anymore. Drink some beer.

  13. Oh yeah. There is one more step. While you were all high at the beginning, other projects were created. Try not to think about them.
So the Wild West Relay was a week and a half ago. I hadn't run all summer, and suddenly I was expected to pull my weight in a 200 mile relay race. I definitely had some excuses. I twisted my ankle coming down from Chasm Lake 4 weeks before the race (which was technically too late to start training, but at least I could have tried, if it didn't hurt to walk).

Mostly, I was just busy.

Doing, you know, stuff.

I watched the first 4 seasons and started the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mean, that's an accomplishment...

I spent a lot of time thinking I should start training, getting stressed out, and then not doing anything...

But I did go. And I finished it, in what was probably the slowest run time in the history of the race.

I even had a good time, and will never forget what it was like to run under the stars in south central Wyoming on a country road, awed by the beauty and wondering if I was going to be abducted by aliens, eaten by a mountain lion, or hit by a drunk driver and end up slowly dying in a ditch somewhere.

But I survived. They even gave me a medal at the end:

Mostly, I am super optimistic (probably just feeling relief), and want to DO things and stuff.

Maybe next year, I can actually train for this race. And have a garden. And I will do my laundry every Monday, and get rid of clothes that I don't wear so I have room for everything. Next year's garden is going to be awesome.

Maybe I just need more projects.