Friday, April 17, 2009

Keep Your Priorities Straight.

I often make a comparison about how much the mind set of animals, athletes and warriors are alike. The end result, finishing the job is what's important not the details along the way. Even dogs know, " when it's your job to retrieve the duck there is no use worrying how cold the water is". Or if you don't get out there and catch food, you will starve, there is no other option. When the battle joins, you fight till it's over, there is really no other good option. When you choose to be an athlete, you have to look at finishing as your job, because that is what athletes do. It's nice to do great but to finish is the primary goal.

There are times that I forget that and stress the details to much. One of the details that I get hung up on and stress over is time. I have and a run/walk on a beautiful day, lots of interesting things to see along the way and generally just felt wonderful and then look at my watch when it's over and see that I was going slower than I thought and been upset. A perfect run/walk ruined by, as the saying goes, "Sweating the Small Stuff". Now most of the time when I log a training distance or a race I log only the hours and min. It goes down as, for example: 2 hr 33 min and change. Even trying to be exact about time in races can drive you nuts.

I bet if you do a hundred 5Ks and measured each one, you would find every course was a slightly different distance. So no course is the same, unless you are a track racer, then you have an exact unchanging distance. We are never the same for each race either. How well we have hydrated, how well we slept, how much we have eaten, ect.... makes us different each time we line up at the start or start on a training run/walk.

Your attitude on training or race day matters to. If you are focused on the day and doing well and warm up good you will usually have a better time than if you socialize right up to the start. We often need the socializing and feeling of belonging more than we need the fast race. Once we start we need to remember the primary goal, finish the distance to the best of our ability but working with what the day brings.

Some of the best advice I ever heard was a short prayer, "Grant me the serenity to accept what I can not change, the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference". I wear that prayer on a gold chain around my neck to remind me. Keeps me from slamming my self against an immovable object.

Find joy in doing your job as an athlete, finishing what you start. Don't get hung up on every time being the same or better, you got it done. There will be days you do better, and days where you will do worse.

Thanks for reading

Walking Panda

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