Monday, November 2, 2015

This is the New Normal

I have no fear of failure, provided I use my heart and head, hands and feet - and work like hell.-- Charles Merrill

Life is hard. I could probably end the story right there and everyone would get it. Here's the kicker though. I don't think life is that hard. I believe in general, people are pretty soft. Because of this belief I have mastered the art of blaming myself for any setbacks or mishaps. Folks love to point the finger. So do I... At myself.

I am not saying that all things in life require toughness only. There are obviously places and situations in the world that I will not pretend to understand or relate to. I'm speaking simply on the reason people usually give for not accomplishing a goal... Life is hard. Goals are very important to the runner. Almost as important as shoes, a runner without a goal will find themselves on the way to a new hobby. 

Sometimes when runners hear the word goal they cringe. I run simply because I love to do it. Some folks run for different causes and reasons and the idea of having a goal sounds less like an escape and more like the job or life that you were trying to escape by running. On the surface no one wants to turn their leisure or recreation into this goal oriented, goal-setting lifestyle.

I love when running is simple and every runner has goals. Although the goals may be masked they are goals nonetheless. So for the people that purport to not set goals, here are some examples of runners' non-goal goals. 

  1. I just don't want to get injured.
  2. I wish I could stay out there a little longer.
  3. As long as I don't finish last.
  4. I need discipline for my diet.
  5. Let's see if I can get better.
This is all code for having a goal. I will translate now:
  1. I need to work on a few things in order to stop getting nagging injuries. The goal is to run when I want without unplanned days off due to injury.
  2. The goal is to condition your body to comfortably run longer every so often. People that start off with a mile want to run 3. 
  3. I have to work on my speed and endurance to ensure that I have a good showing in my upcoming race.
  4. Consistent runners tend to stay away from crappy food because when they run on crappy food... they have a crappy run. No pun intended.
  5. Let's face it, anyone who walks outside today and runs a 12 minute mile or a 6 minute mile certainly wants to run an 11 minute mile and a 5 minute mile respectively. The goal is to be better this year than last year and next year to be better than this year.
This is where the softness comes in. People would rather not openly set goals because they fear failure in front of an audience. That fear can oftentimes become the driver behind success. But if the audience doesn't exist... neither does the driver.

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