I am, by nature, an optimistic thinker so it feels a little awkward sharing these thoughts… but in the end it lends to positive thinking- maybe 🙂
As teenagers it seems as though we were always trying to look tough. The idea was to radiate a vibe of “ain’t nothing stronger than me.” Well, I do not share the following thoughts in that same light :). I am not attempting to look tough and rugged. Rather, I am sharing my thoughts on why I am hoping for the worst case scenarios in tomorrows race.
Our brains are constantly changing, adapting, and overcoming. I have a lot of all three of those to do before mid-July’s Hardrock 100 race. I need to face more anxiety on the trails. I need horrible weather to strike. I need to twist my ankle and endure with it. I need to get lost and find my way back on path. I need this so as Hardrock comes I am better able to bend but not break.
No, I don’t believe you have to experience every adversity in life. However, if you know adversive situations are to come shouldn’t you do something about it? I am not going out to Hardock hoping for the best racing conditions, both internally and externally. Instead, I am going knowing I will take a great hike through heaven and hell. This is not a way of focusing on the negative. In contrast, it is a way or recognizing the reality that I do have a certain amount of control in preparing for the mess I might find myself in!
All of that said, I am not going to create a bad situation on the race tomorrow. I mean… 100 miles is 100 miles. What I am going to do is show gratitude for the rain, thunder, lighting, mud, pain, strong emotion, hallucinations, and maybe a scratch or two. I am not necessarily inviting this but I am accepting it. After all, I made a last minute decision to run this race and that brings about its own challenges!
One of my biggest annoyances in life is when I hear the phrase “It is what it is.” That seems far too closely related to learned-helplessness, which is disempowering and leaves too much room for pathetic excuses. I believe this saying can be better stated as, “It is what it is and I can do ___________ in this situation.” Now, why in the world did I go on this tangent? Well… I can choose to show up to the San Juans in July and just say “It is what it is” when it gets difficult, or I can show up and say “it is what it is and I HAVE ALREADY done much to endure the situation”. That is what I am choosing to do- be prepared to endure! I won’t fall victim to unfavorable circumstances.
I am well aware that we cannot adequately prepare for every specific adversity we will face in this life. However, we can either fall in to a powerless mentality or empowered mode when things get rough. It is my hope I can keep myself together enough to create an empowered mindset as I become humbled by the trails in Tennessee tomorrow. May the worst come and may I continue to walk… for Saturday I can sleep 🙂
Wishing you the best!