It’s a beautiful sunny day, sun is out, birds are singing, you feel light breeze on your face. Perfect day for a run! Let’s do it – you say. You go out enjoying yourself, looking around, opening your senses, feeling it…enjoying every minute…and suddenly u feel the vibration…it’s your smart watch telling you “you are slow, performance minus 5, go faster”. What do you do? Pick up your pace, focus hard, stay strong, be connected and chase…chase the numbers. Now whatever is around becomes less important, you need to get the usual or better number on your watch screen to say “it was good run” if it won’t happen little feeling of disappointment might come to your head and change the way you think about that session….
The above story is only a one example, I can go on and on: not getting a PB on race day, running with your buddy and feeling you can’t keep up, doing a new session and feeling it’s really hard asking yourself am I good enough?…
Have you ever felt this way? Or maybe you have experienced something similar to the examples above? Please think…and be honest. I think we all do go that dark side sometimes in life, maybe more or less often but we do…
We can say we are living in the world of numbers and expectations, and yes its true – we are creating the world and because the first thing someone will ask you when you share the fact that you like running is “What is the distance you run?” or “What is your finish time for…?”. But but…does it really matter? Is it really what got you into the sport for first time? Why not to answer those questions like that “I run whatever my legs feel like and my time depends on many factors, the one thing I’m sure of is that I love it”. Please don’t get me wrong… having a number in our head isn’t bad, I even think it’s very helpful because it makes our goal clearer and in the same time makes us more focused and consistent with the training. It’s essential to have clear goals. But…at the end are we doing it only for the numbers? Should the numbers be the only thing we judge our day or session by? Should they be the answer for all our questions? Maybe it’s only my opinion – but NO I don’t think the numbers are everything… the way we feel about ourselves is much more valuable. The feeling we get when we run, the mediation, the endorphin lift – our happy hormones – that all is priceless and cannot be counted in numbers..:) What I’m trying to say here is – don’t let the numbers change the way you think about your passion….don’t lose what is the most beautiful in it…and don’t let your head change the events in your life to become “bad experience”. I believe WE HAVE POWER to make any situation in our life a positive thing or a negative thing, it is ONLY UP TO US. You can run a race of your life and say I did it – I’m so happy and proud, only I know how hard it was and how many obstacles I had to come through on the way to reaching it, and I did it – it was great success!
Or I can say – it was good, I was working very hard but I could have done so much better, I’m not happy with myself, by now I should be faster stronger better…I am not able to call it a success. Do you understand?
OK what if….you didn’t reach the goal you worked so hard for, maybe the number was important for you that one day, and it just didn’t work… Ask yourself – is it worth killing yourself just because it didn’t happen? Or maybe you can treat it as great lesson that no other person or situation would give you, on how to: calm your nerves, relax, breathe, just stand above it and talk to yourself “I have been there before and now I’m stronger and wiser, I will lead you and see where it takes us, let’s do what we can TODAY and NOW, THAT PRESENT MOMENT – LETS JUST GIVE IT ALL”.
One thing I’m sure of is that whoever you are – you are going to experience better and worse events, sessions, races – and its normal, it’s part of life. Do you thing the greatest athletes have it always easy? NO! But what makes them stand up is that they work on their mind as much as they work on their body, and every situation in life makes them wiser, stronger and better version of themselves. Let’s learn from that!
Let’s not put pressure on ourselves but instead let enjoy what we do, and what so many people would love to do but from any reasons they can’t.. also let’s not forget why we love it so much. Let yourself go to the moments where you forget about your watch, forget about your race day coming, forget about people asking questions (they just want to be nice..), give yourself a break and run “naked” sometimes (I mean…without the watch, leave the clothes on lol) 😉 And on race day tell yourself “I’m here now! I did everything I could to be best version of myself and now I will enjoy every minute, giving everything I got and no matter what will happen…I will be proud and happy with myself! If even for that only one thing but – being proud because I’m so much stronger that I was yesterday…” And YES – YOU ARE ENOUGH…YOU ARE EVEN MORE!!!
Happy running buddies 😉