GIVE IN – STOP FIGHTING
How do we develop such strong negative opinions about our running that they alter our perceptions of what we believe we can and cannot do? These attitudes come about as a result of some occurrence or series of occurrences in our running history and we end up seeing them as facts—the so-called truth about our ability.
This does not only happen for the worse—events often happily conspire to bring about a change of mindset that positively influences our running beliefs about ourselves. The trick is to purposefully create these powerful positive beliefs and nurture them. We should recognize self-defeating beliefs and eliminate them by replacing them with ones that bring out the best in us.
How should you cope with negative situations? Seek to understand why you see it as a problem. In understanding, the situation becomes an opportunity for growth. Be patient with yourself and be at peace with the “problem”. Have a rational conversation with yourself, or even better, discuss it with a skilled objective friend and decide on a course of action—commit to that course and proceed to make your own magic.
If you ran a race and the only feedback you had was from how you felt and the effort you were laying down – no mile markers, no knowledge of the exact distance of the race, no competitors to measure yourself against, no posted results, no external evaluation tools at all – how would that be? Would you not know you had given it your all and that that was good enough? You experienced your effort and concentration each step of the way, all the while knowing you were giving it your best shot. You can only be satisfied and happy after such an effort. This is what I mean by letting go. Let go of the arbitrary false evaluations of performance and yourself as a runner and measure yourself truly only by how much of yourself you gave on the day. Then there will be more joy, more satisfaction, more smiles, more fulfillment and many more winners out there.
Developing a self-serving relationship with your running and how you perceive it, requires that you become aware of certain ideas. It is truly irrelevant whether you achieve your targets or not – it is only relevant that you have them in place. You cannot at age 50 have the same targets as you had at age 23. In reality your level of fitness can never be a determinant of who you are and the purpose of your running. If this is the case then perhaps you are unconscious of the true value and joy that running holds.
I meet many runners every year who are miserable, but they started out on this journey called running with the sole (and very valid) purpose of having fun by seeking opportunities for personal fulfillment! They complain of growing slower, of injuries, of lack of time to train, of expensive race entries and equipment, of poor organization – the list is long. Instead of running being a dream come true for them, it has become a nightmare.
The key to self-acceptance and subsequently remaining in love with your running lies in discovering how and why you are asleep/unaware in the first place. To see your running once again as a gift to yourself, you need to wake up out of this running nightmare in which you might have imprisoned yourself. We all need to realize constantly that running is a medium through which we experience joy and self-realization. Be clear before each run that whether you are an elite runner or simply out there as a weekend warrior that the purpose of the entire exercise is to enjoy yourself.
All too often I see runners who refuse to face the fact that perhaps they DO NOT WANT SOLUTIONS for their running ailments, what they require is a little relief. They know that a real cure will be painful. It will require a total replacement of their old mindset, with a new mindset and actions. It requires that they move out of their comfort zone. It will demand discipline, sacrifice and a learning of new habits.
Great results come when we focus on what needs to be done and when we enjoy doing it. When we are overly aware of what’s wrong and how bad it is that it is wrong, we miss the point—we see only the problem and the whole point of running—to have fun and enjoy success, is lost. Rediscover what the point of running is for you.
On Monday I begin an 11-week training program for the 2006 Bolder Boulder Road Race in the Bolder area. For more information see my website or contact us through the site: www.BobbyMcGee.com