Friday, May 29, 2009

Con Man

Shhhh, let’s bring the room down a few notches. Can I get a blue circular light for some serious talk?

I don’t write many serious posts so, if you prefer, feel free to fling boogers at the screen or do a hilarious cursing Tourette’s impersonation while reading this if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Today, I’m talking confidence. No, I mean CONFIDENCE. Lately, I’ve come across a number of posts and overheard a number of pre-race conversations where a runner says something to the affect that they’ll ‘never run that pace’ or they’ll ‘never be able to BQ’ or they’ll ‘never be able to run a whole marathon’ or they’ll ‘never have such sexy man legs as Nitmos.’ A bunch a nattering nabobs of negativism.*

With that attitude? You’re right! However, three of those four examples are doable with the right plan, proper motivation, and a positive, confident attitude. (Forget the legs. You couldn’t craft smooth lines of granite like mine if you hired the best and brightest from Beverly Hills.)

So, let’s focus on Attitude which begets Motivation and Training which begets CONFIDENCE.

If you are going to be any kind of competitive athlete – certainly running against your own personal goals qualifies – you need to have a certain amount of healthy CONFIDENCE. Not the faux arrogance I throw around this blog weekly. I’m talking real CONFIDENCE born from a marriage of a positive attitude and hard training.** You can’t show up at the start line of your race merely hoping to achieve a time goal when the pitch forked satan is jabbing you in the Doubt Sensors and cackling maniacally. You have to believe it. And real belief only comes from the weeks or months of work that took place before race day.

When it comes to running, I believe anything is possible. If someone asks me if I think they could run a marathon, I immediately respond ‘yes, but not in those jean shorts.’ Or someone says to me ‘I don’t think I can beat my PR’ for a race that is still weeks away, I say ‘sure you can – if you stop being such a pusillanimous pussyfooter.’ I’m not suggesting that merely wanting something leads to race day CONFIDENCE and success. You have to start with the positive attitude. The I CAN attitude. Then, put the plan and training in place. Through the ups and downs of training, maintain the I CAN attitude. By the time you show up at race registration, you’ll be brimming with CONFIDENCE and spewing self affirmations like a Tourette’s afflicted Stuart Smalley.

But it all starts at the beginning. Don’t hobble your self with self doubt and negativism. You can reach your goal given enough time, planning, a bit of luck, proper attitude, and $19.95 sent to me, here, monthly at Feet Meet Street for your dose of daily affirmations. It seriously makes me cringe every time I hear someone start off with 'I don’t think I can…' what? What have you already determined you can’t do? As an example, I’m so arrogant that I think I could do a 2:45 marathon if I didn’t have these little things called a full time job, full time family, and a penchant for sweets and beer and late night television. That’s okay. I’m not going after that goal by choice. But, keeping with the theme of this post (CONFIDENCE and positive attitude), I still believe I could get there if I tried.

Try it some time. Catch yourself before you start to say that you can’t achieve your race goal. Then, back up. Set a realistic goal. Allow enough time. Tell yourself you CAN and WILL. Then put in the work.

When you arrive at the start line, you can chuckle at all of the other runners getting their doubt sensors jabbed by the shoulder devil. You’ll know that you have lowered your chance for FAIL to small, uncontrollable factors such as weather, injury, swine flu, or – as the registrations threaten – death.

You will fly from the start with full CONFIDENCE that the goal will be yours. It has blossomed and developed from the itty-bitty confidence fetus from weeks ago. (Maybe insemination was simply reading this post?)

Behind you, slogging away with devil dipped shoulder, the hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history will meander to their fate.

Happy trails.


* Where have you gone Spiro Agnew?
** I have no idea about the gender roles each of these play so don’t ask. If I were to guess, I’d say positive attitude would wear the dress.

_________________________________

I can honestly say that I never, ever expected to make Spiro Agnew a vocal point for a blog post. Another item off my bucket list! I’m on a roll. Now, who knows any good quotes from Idi Amin?

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

25 comments:

Jamoosh said...

Nitmos' sexy man legs...

1)Do you have no respect for people's breakfast?

2)Uh, just because your wife says it, doesn't mean it's true.

Xenia said...

Dude, did you just inseminate me? How am I supposed to explain to people I got 'knocked up' by a guy I don't even know? That's not going to go down well with the 'rents...

Sun Runner said...

Hey, I saw those sexy man legs in action at the Bayshore 10K last weekend.

I had to believe without a doubt that I would have the race of my life in Cleveland two weeks ago. I went the starting line knowing I could qualify for Boston. I knew I had done all the work I needed. All I had to do was run.

David said...

Mr. Nitmos:

Not to fling a booger at your screen-full-o-confidence, but:

I've been reviewing your plans for Summer of Speed II and attempting to adapt the plan for my personal goals. I have arrived at a plan involving a large quantity of aerobic miles and a bit of hill/speed work. I have dubbed the plan Summer of Lactate.

Yep, my plan is SOL.

That is all,
David

Marlene said...

Good post! Thanks Nitmos!

Jess said...

Ohhh a wise post indeed

Vava said...

Great post! I know that I CAN finish a marathon, for which I will be training all summer, but wonder if simply having "finishing" as a goal is enough. Having never run one I really don't know what to set as a time goal and perhaps shouldn't. Call me Confident and Confused.

Kristina said...

Nice use of alliteration. Way to rock the literary devices.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

yep, if you want it bad enough, i think you can make it happen (within reason, of course)

Vanilla said...

Whatever. Exuding confidence and attaining your goals makes for poor blog posts. Where's the drama in being confident that you can reach your goal and then doing it? Where's the humor in that?

Spike said...

the check is in the mail, and I'm pretty confident it won't bounce!

Lauren said...

Man, how old are you? Spiro Agnew? Even your comedic references are so old, the comedian is in Congress. Or is he yet? It's really amazing you have any confidence at all at your age. Although, dementia may have already set in. That explains the legs comment.

Ace said...

Spiro Agnew quotes FTW!

“I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won't deceive you except in matters of this sort.”

I'm confident that I lack confidence, but like all confidence related posts.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Ok, I really like this post...


...I'm not exactly sure what that says about me, but I'm confident that it is good.

Adam said...

Good stuff here. Those 19 min for me to BQ betta watch OUT.

Now, I'm off to watch a few Stuart Smalley Youtube Clips.

Ms. V. said...

Word.

Great post.

AKA Alice said...

OMFG...Spiro Agnew...that's just some funny shiz...

Lily on the Road said...

Spiro Agnew, now there is a ghost from the past!!

and a word of caution to Jamoosh, if Mrs. Nitmos says it, it IS true!!!

LOL, BTW great post!!!

theloosemoose said...

I used to agree wholeheartedly with this argument - in complete and total agreement with you.

But then I went into my eighth marathon with the most dejected, piss poor, negative attitude EVER and somehow managed to BQ.

So now I am a firm believer in "I Know I Can't, I Know I Can't."

Reluctant Runner said...

Ain't it the truth. Sometimes I start a race completely confident that I will suck and I'm inevitably right. Or is that not the kind of confidence you meant?

Irish Cream said...

Great post, sir. I'm thinking I should really try out this "confidence" thing. I hear it works wonders! Any idea where I can find some?

Susan said...

Ohhh this a post I definitely needed! Thanks!

aron said...

awesome post :) definitely agree!

sRod said...

Thanks for the pep talk!

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