Today is Boston and no I am not going to get all excited about going out and attempting to run another marathon - not yet any ways (if ever). However, after the Unity College 5K Race this weekend, I know that I have some changes to how I train. Then this morning when I was transferring some of the old posts, I read this one and it stuck out as one that I needed to update.
"The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Quote by Theodore Roosevelt.
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time and I am a huge fan of Theodore Roosevelt and what he accomplished in his life. However, I also see this from a slightly different perspective than many who throw this quote around.
What else is new - right ;-)
I believe that you do need to get in the arena and once you are there, that you should do your absolute best that day.
If you fail and there will be times you will, you need pick your ass up off the ground, wipe off the blood, sweat and tears, then figure out what you did "right" and what you did "wrong", then make a plan to do better next time you get in the arena.
You Gotta Do The Work
Yes, the work can be done in smaller, more systematic steps and doing it this way, usually is what works best for most of us, but and this is the big but you still gotta do the work. All the work, not just some of it or only the stuff you like.
Sometimes when I look around me at races or even when I watch a race on television, you can tell who has done the work.
Yes, it is more than just their physical appearance (some of our journey's are longer and may have different challenges physically than others), it is more the look on their faces. They are relaxed and there is a quiet confidence about them, they know they have done the work necessary to accomplish what they want to do that day.
You know those people when you see them.
And no, it is not only at the front of the pack that you see this look, I have seen it in the middle of the pack and the back of the pack, in all shapes and sizes of runners.
Yep, they trust their preparations and training will get done what they have set out to do.
However, we all know that once that damn gun goes off, there are no guarantees about how well, you will actually do, but you are in the arena and ready to give it your best effort.
That is all you can do.
Unfortunately, all too often when I look around the start and the end of a race, you see more fear, deer in the headlights looks and I question how many have done little more than the absolute minimum necessary to start, much less finish.
Once the gun goes off and we actually enter the arena, even if we are or are not ready, did we really give it our best effort, strive valiantly or did we simply go through the motions and become satisfied with less, sometimes much less than our best.
I know for some simply finishing is a huge victory.
However, I also know for others it is not enough to "just" finish and they (and I) strive for more.
So my question is -
Have you looked at past failures, thought about what needs to be changed and put together a plan to make the needed changes. Then are you willing to challenge and push yourself to make the changes.
So that when your time to step into the arena again, you are ready and will have that look of quiet confidence for when you enter your personal arena?
Are you ready to make the needed changes and do the work?