I have read that mistakes grow the brain and that mistakes give you an opportunity.

Many mistakes are serendipitous and may help you get you to a place where you need to be. Which makes you wonder, are your self-imposed mistakes, at least in some form, subconsciously intentional?

I made a biggie this week and it was self-imposed.

On Tuesday I dragged a tire for four miles which took me 93 minutes with a couple breaks to watch a graceful Great Blue Heron make his way up the C&O Canal.

Long tire pull in the hot sun

I was using my ski poles so I never quite figured out how to hold my poles and carry water. My tire pull harness does not allow for a fanny pack so I opted to leave my water in the car. Thinking back, it is similar to that moment when you watch someone going down the dark stairs in a scary movie and you know what’s ahead…WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT???!!! I knew better!

I set out under a hot sun. I was light headed when I returned to my car, but chalked it up to a tough workout, which it was! I was cramping, but again, it was the workout.

On Wednesday morning, I had my 1-hour training session with Tiffany where I am completely drenched with sweat by the end.

Wednesday was also the last day of school and it was one of those days where I could not stop, running from one thing to the next, hosting, driving, and coaching my kids. I co-hosted an outside swim party under the sun where I did not eat lunch, and then went straight to playing a 1 hour soccer game on hot, sunny turf.

Half way through the game I got a pounding headache. I could tell my cheeks were bright red. I got dizzy several times and considered the fact that I could pass out. I got the chills and they didn’t stop. I had the strongest feeling of dry mouth I can recall. I paused to drink water twice, but it was too late. I also did not stop playing soccer even though I knew I should.

After soccer, I had 20 minutes to get out the door to Kai’s work dinner. I battled a headache and chills the whole time. I forgot which wedding ring goes on first: I put the engagement ring on first! Embarrassingly, I put my dress on backwards. I couldn’t remember if I was picking up Kai or the other way around.

I was so far gone down the path of electrolyte loss and dehydration that I was likely stepping into dangerous territory. I was hit with overwhelming nausea as I entered the restaurant. This dinner was important to Kai and I really wanted to be there for him, but I could not stay. I whispered to him that I had to leave and we said goodbye.

It took me two days to hydrate back and feel almost normal again. Today is Friday and I still do not feel completely myself. In that course of time, I’ve been constantly thirsty. I still have a headache, I feel tired to the point where I want to sleep all the time, and my whole body aches.

I traumatized my body by allowing it to get that low. It was so stupid!

Why did I do this?

Dehydration can cause kidney failure, seizures, or the body to go into shock and more.

I know better. I’m queen of drinking tons and tons of water all day.

I preach to my friends all of the time, “drink as many ounces as pounds you weigh!”

(Thank you nutritionist Shauna Faulisi for teaching me that awesome nugget!)

I am really trying to be honest with myself. Was that a self-imposed mistake?

Did I need an exercise break?

Was I testing my new, more fit body to see when it would break?

Did I need to remind myself that self-care has to be a top priority, even over my kid’s needs?

I think it is actually a combo of all of the above. I have to take all into consideration.

I read that leaders do the following with mistakes:

  • Acknowledge them
  • Learn from them
  • Teach them to others
  • Don’t dwell and keep moving

I am not going to dwell on this big mistake, but I am going to make slowing down to eat and drink properly a priority. I am going to interchange indoor and outdoor workouts in DC’s hot summer. I bought a thin Camelback type pack that I can take on tire pulls when I’m wearing my harness.

Tiffany suggests water may not be enough in the DC heat and with the length of my workouts, so I am switching to a sports drink that replenishes electrolytes more efficiently called NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drink.

It’s tolerable!

And I’m teaching you, my reader, about what happened as a reminder to take care of your body and make time for self-care and self-love.

I have to remember that I a mom and my kids are watching me. I need to show them that self-care is crucial. I want them to have the skills and habits to manage healthy bodies and life stressors in healthy and effective ways. I won’t allow myself to make that mistake again.