Friday, 30 March 2018

| journal | 2018 | 03 | 30 | running |

screw you nigel. you bloody duck.

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To contextualise this video - we were filming for work and I at the time I couldn't paddle backwards so overshot a little bit.....

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It was raining so hard, my legs were heavy and my heart wasn’t in it. We’d been slogging away at the pavement for just under two hours and the fun had been left by the side of the road some five miles back. I started slowing up, eventually grinding to a halt. Lee looked back at me, frowning slightly.

‘I’m done Lee. I can’t do it anymore’

‘Can you still move your legs?’ To which I replied – of course.

‘Well run then.’ And he took off, leaving me to chase him.
It’s as simple as that. You aren’t done until you’re done, and you’re only done when you can’t question it anymore.

except for when it's been 32 miles and you forgot your snacks. 


This isn’t going to be a post about whether you should have turned up in the first place because that’s a book in itself, but if you are at a session, you’d better bring the right mental attitude.

Everyone has bad days, everyone has sessions they want to walk away from – that’s a normal part of life. Looking around the room during circuits I can imagine at any one time someone is thinking about what they would rather be doing. But you have to make the decision to not let that thought fester, not let it grow into a tangible idea and not follow through.

Even when the lactic acid in your legs makes you throw up, you've gotta drag yourself back in the room and crack on. 

Giving up/ quitting
To give up in itself implies active participation in the act of walking away. You set off towards a goal but steer yourself away before you even realise if it’s possible or not.

The more you quit the easier it gets. If you turn up to a gym session knowing you walked away the last time, then you can allow yourself to do it again. Repetitive action leads to habits, and we all know how hard habits are to break.

Giving up saves you from having to try, having to push yourself through discomfort and still potentially fail. It saves you from the unpleasantness of feeling humiliated when you can’t do something. It takes mental discipline to become someone who can carry on, regardless of the pain and complete the task. Stopping short of the finish line is just training yourself to stop when the going gets tough – and not every win will be easy. Don’t just tell yourself you can do it, prove it.
I don’t really respect people who give up.

Sure I’ll train with them, but it’s not a mental attitude I want to pick up or develop.

Failing, however.
Failing hurts mentally. It’s tough because you tried and couldn’t do it. It’s tough because you have pushed yourself to the very edge of tolerance and have nothing to show for it.

Failure is setting down the path in search of a goal – fully committed. It’s then realising that for once, it could just be beyond you.

Failures can often be a watershed moment in your life, day or training plan. A defining moment because it catches you by surprise.

The more you fail, the harder it gets. You can only fail if you try, so in a way its learning you aren’t as good as you thought you were.

Failing is the act of trying first and not succeeding, giving up is not even trying in the first place.
I felt the effects of failure in June 2015. I’d reached mile 35 of a 69 mile ultra, and was on top form. It only took 1 mile for things to turn nasty and after 4 I was left sitting on the side of the road with a dislocated foot and sprained tendon. That’s failure. It hurts. It still hurts.

You have to decide that you will never give up. No matter what. Normally it’s a case of getting your head down and realising it’s not as bad as you thought. Sometimes it sucks being handicap 20 and never getting a rest between sets. Sometimes it's boring always leading never chasing. Sometimes you just want to put your paddles down and float home. 

Quitters don’t have what it takes.

Successful people climbed a rickety, uneven, slippery, unpredictable ladder to success. It was never a sure thing, there was a lot of luck and many happy accidents, but they kept climbing.

Of course they brought a fair amount of skill, talent, hard work and persistence to the table. They will have also had mentors, guides, parents, luck, karma and random events that helped out at every step along the way.

But most importantly: they didn’t give up.