There are some instances in running, and in life, when we become so preoccupied with our goals(see last week’s post), that we lose sight of what is actually best for us.
It is at these times that we do the most harm to ourselves and our goals.
Because in becoming so preoccupied with what we want, we are ignoring what we need. For example; our race goal might be to run the marathon under a certain period of time, so we feel that the best way to go about this is to run as often as possible and not take the time to recover. This leads to over training and injuries. Which then becomes lost training time and unattained fitness. We changed the routine and pushed to hard. Now, we are worse off than if we would have just had confidence in what we had already been doing.
The same holds true for the real world as the running world. When we become become hyper focused on what we want; whether it be in our career, relationship, or family situation. We become consumed by what we desire and what we feel we don’t have. We then become burnt out with our job, frustrated with our spouses and kids, and lash out in unhealthy ways. We have lost focus of what we need, and what we were working so hard for in the first place. More often than not, what we need is already there in front of us, and we just need to appreciate it.
This leads to an interesting conundrum. If we are spending all our time being grateful for what we have already achieved and never pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, what becomes of all the hard-work, grit, and drive that successful athletes and people of note have always said is requisite for success? Can you have one without the other? Drive without reprieve. Gratitude without struggle. Success without effort. Of course not. The trick lies, as often is the case, in a balance of the two.
As you enter in the next week of your training or the next phase of your life, never lose sight of your goals. Goals remind us of where we have been, show us where we are, and point us towards where we want to go. Work towards those goals on the trail, in the office, in your household; and push for them with all your might. Whether it be with an extra run a week, more responsibility in the office or an extra night at home with the family. But, when it becomes so overwhelming that running becomes a chore, or you grow to hate your job, or even dread coming home at night; take a step back and breath. You have found your limit. To go any further, or try and harder would be harmful to yourself and the people around you. Remember where you have been: the runs you have done, the career you have build, the family that you love, and have confidence that your past success is exactly what you need to give you the strength to conquer the next phase of the plan.
Keep running, keep living, keep loving; in the way that is best for you. Trust that it is enough to carry you through to the end. You are good enough, you work hard enough, you are capable of achieving your goals. Remind yourself of this every morning for the next three weeks, twice on the days that are the toughest, and you will be just fine.
By Damian Rodriguez