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.
* 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!!