Monday, March 18, 2013

Fix Bayonets

Fix bayonets, a command that means your position is about to be over run and you are going to be fighting hand to hand.  A soldier hearing that knows this may be his last battle, that click as the bayonet locks on to end of his rifle, is a sound that means, "though I may die, I will give full measure,  I will not fall easily but die with honor".  The ultimate example of, 'stuff just got real'.

As we walk up to the starting line of races we are not going into battle, are we?  Yes most of us are doing that very thing.  We are going to battle a lot of personal demons form our past and present.  Whether we take our place on the front line as an elite or stand far back in the pack as a new warrior, we all face a coming battle.  I'm not strong enough, I'm not thin enough, I'm not smart enough, I don't belong here with real athletes.  Lot's of labels for the demons of self doubt.  Those demons are hardened from all the years that they have had their way with you. 

When you prepare for that next race, prepare to go to war with those demons and train to beat them.  You are earning your freedom form their grip, with your sweat.  Every mile, every lap, every rep makes you stronger.  You can become that warrior that will free you, from that bondage of self doubt.  Those years of thinking you were never enough can be put behind you.

While you are training for your next race, tell yourself, "I am enough", then believe it.  To be enough you must know that you are.  If you are getting out there on the road putting in the miles, going to the gym and doing your cross training, eating like an athlete and getting the proper rest, then yes you are enough.  Trust your training, know that you are indeed earning your race.

Arrive on race day, ready for battle.  Get warmed up before you go to that starting line.  Being warm you can start racing when the gun sounds, not worry about going slow enough to warm up so you don't burn out early.  I can truthfully say that I have never had a race race where I didn't over take and pass people who passed me at the start.  Be ready to run your race not be haunted by, "I've started to fast and now I can't hold this pace".  If you do find that your pace is to hard to maintain, back off for a few minutes and then speed back to that pace and I bet it will be easier.

When someone is passing you, let them, if you have to go so fast to stay ahead of them that you soon fade back even further.  When you begin to close on someone, practice some good deep breathing and get lots of oxygen to those muscles before you to make the push to pass.  Don't give up on a good pace till you have taken inventory, do you hurt anywhere, breathing comfortably, smooth motion?  Just because you are going faster than you thought you could, let your body make the decision, if it's not having trouble, enjoy the feeling.

When the race is close to finishing and you still have something left, let it go, chase down those demons, you have more left in you and you need to know it.  Start that sprint to the finish a little further away than you think you can do and don't give it up till you are across that finish line.  You may look the same when you are done but if your shadow was accurate it would show you with your bayonet fixed and there would be a trail of slain demons in your wake.

Thanks for reading.


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