Now that Western States is over and my body has healed and my mind has cleared I’ve taken some time to reflect upon my performance. I always go into a race striving for the best but I succumb to defeat easily and have accepted satisfactory performances way too often. I have already proved that I can run the distance in varied conditions but what I have not proved is that I can do so with a tremendous effort. I take pride in the fact that I’ve only gave up one time and it was my very first attempt but maybe I shouldn’t take so much pride in that fact. Maybe just maybe my goals should be set higher and I should force myself to find new limits. Truthfully I’m stalled in a position where I have not seen improvement because I’m not willing to reveal the upper spec of my limitations. At what point would I falter? At what point would I be so exhausted that my body would fail? At what point would I become so disoriented that my decision making processes would be skewed? I can’t answer these questions because I’ve never pushed myself that hard.
I have the courage to sign up and place myself on the starting line but I don’t have the courage to find my limits. In my heart I believe that I have the ability to run faster, place higher, and even possibly win some races but when the chips are down I fold. I am too willing to reevaluate my goals and too willing to accept sub-par performances and too willing to believe that a finish in a 100 mile race is the ultimate achievement. There is always room for improvement but improvement can not be found unless risk is taken and risk sometimes leads to failure. My fear of failure has been the main roadblock keeping me from further development but truthfully I’ve failed because I’ve accepted mediocrity. My definition of failure has been incorrect for many years because in reality failure can occur even in those who are seemingly successful. It’s all about effort. I’ve seen people at mile 45 of a race who’ve given more of an effort than I would give while running the entire 100 miles in the same event. That person could quit right there and be more of a success than I. I could easily say that I’m injured or stressed out or that my dog peed on my running shoes but honestly it all comes down to the fact that I’m willing to accept mediocrity.
I’m very hard on myself and I sometimes wonder why but then I remember. Growing up I had a very eccentric uncle who left a lasting impression on me. He lived alone and was not very well liked amongst our family because he was judgmental, discriminating and at times even rude. Though I was quite fearful of him I never disliked him because I understood he was a scared, lonely man. His behavior was a product of the fear that existed inside of him and truthfully I would be the bad person had I judged him. He once told me to never let anyone or anything intimidate me and always go for the win. Even as a child his statement was thought provoking and though it didn’t impact my life right away it has meaning to me as I write today. If one day God sees fit to allow me to run the way I once did I must find those limits and push towards them and see where it leads me. I must strive for something other than mediocrity while digging deep to find exactly how much heart I do have.
Today I’m shifting gears because it’s now all about helping my runner find her way through Death Valley and up
May God bless Team Slug leader, John Harper, and his family as they mourn the death of his father.