I had exceptionally high hopes for my run on Saturday. Weather was optimal—a little over 60 degrees, not too sunny, but bright and cheery. I anticipated I'd have a nice 5-6 mile run. Things were going well—nice pace, enjoying the sights and scents of late spring. Then, not even half way though, I got a stitch in my right side. Ouch. I'll just keep going a bit, I thought.
Sometimes it goes away. It didn't.
I didn't want to stop and walk because I was coming up to a spot on my path where folks could see me, and I didn't want to admit defeat. Embarrassment can be such a powerful motivator.
The pain was not subsiding. I decided to walk for a bit. Then the worst happened, the stitch multiplied. I got a second one on my right side. Then, another on my left. With each step, my abs crunched and my whole body tensed. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it home if walking hurt that much.
The pain subsided just enough that I started run again—I told the stitch it didn't own me. Now, pissed off, the stitches game back. Of course, at that point, I was in the middle of a bike path. If I called someone to pick me up, I'd still have to make it at least a mile.
So, I keep going. I ran some. I walked some. I stopped and did some tricep dips. I ran some more. Etc.
Eventually, I made it home. No stellar time. Probably more like 4 miles total.
But I tried. And again, I made it home.
There are always going to be stitches. They'll make you change goals and re-assess your vision. Sometimes, for the better, sometimes not.
It's okay to go slower or to change direction to work around those challenges.
Whether you're writing book, teaching a class, learning a language, baking a cake, building a deck, or fighting for your dream, sometimes, you'll have to start over.
Sometimes, you'll have to add more flour or delete a whole chapter.
Eventually, you get where you need to be, if you keep going.