Oh boy. I haven’t even begun my marathon training in earnest and already this has become a more of a journey of self-awareness and personal growth than I ever imagined it would be. I’ve spent a lot of time just thinking recently and I’ve seriously questioned myself in ways which made me wonder where my heart and passion was in life, not just in running. Amazing how deep these things reach. The thing is I love running. It’s part of me now to the point I can’t imagine myself without it. Whilst recent times have been tough, what made the first part of last week so difficult for me was how my mental state influenced my running and how that amplified my feelings of dissatisfaction across other areas of my life thereby compounding the issue.
And the result of all this introspection..?
If recent events have only served to do one thing it is to reaffirm to me something which I firmly believe applies to us all and connects every single one of us:
Our biggest enemy in life is time. We must make it our mission to recognise it for the scarce commodity it truly is and make the best use of it we possibly can
I am a positive person. Sometimes I think we need something to give us a little kick so we wake up and smell the roses, as it were. Gives us an opportunity to practice flexing the old mental toughness muscles. Nothing lasts forever, I’ve well and truly learned that lesson recently, and one day I won’t be able to run any more. But today is not that day, and for the time being I can run, so, recent events aside, the best antidote to my moment of lacklustre performance is to channel my energy positively, get back on plan and focus on making everything count.
It’s painful to think “If only I could have my time over again” knowing you never can. So, when it comes to running, I’m not happy with “OK” any more. An “OK” attitude can only result in an “OK” performance, and that is simply not good enough for me. I don’t want to be just “OK”, I want to be the best runner I can be and I’m not prepared to look back at my running one day and say “If only I…”
I don’t think it is enough in life to measure success by what we have simply achieved. Instead I think it is much more meaningful to question whether we have achieved to the best of our ability; to have constantly tried to get better and to have always given 100%, never settling for anything less. I think that’s the key to where proper satisfaction comes from.
So, as I leave last week behind and put closure to another chapter in my life, I feel as though I have become a little stronger. I know I’ll have ‘off days’ – hey, that’s not a problem. I’ll be more mindful and recognise when they occur and hopefully the reasons why, and I’ll always strive to keep going forward, to keep improving. It’s true – I’m not likely to ever match a lot of people for performance or achievement, but I know for certain that when it comes to effort, determination, will-power and dedication I can more than hold my own with anyone on the planet.
It has taken time, some real deep searching and the support of some great friends but after a little wobble I think I’m back on track.