Bravery and the Victor

You don’t have to be better; you just have to be braver.

I am horribly embarrassed at my lack of writing the past week and will do my best to make up for it. I feel like spring is here, and the arrival of Daylight Savings Time is none too soon. I can’t even believe my good fortune when I get off of work and I have an hour of two of glorious, training-ready sunshine! Not just that but it is WARM. YESSSSSSSSSSS!

The coming of the Days of Longer Sunlight ushers in a whole new experience for the “outdoorsy type.” It limits the feeling of Vitamin D deprivation, provides an instant emotional boost, and makes you feel more alive. The beams of golden sun warm the blood coursing through your veins as you strap in for new adventures, and the first inklings of spring are in the air.

For me, triathlon season is perfectly timed to coincide with the arrival of sunlight and warmth. Just as spring and summer kick into gear, the race season begins, and it is full steam all the way through fall, which is far and away the greatest time of the year EVER. Any good athlete will tell you that emotional training is just as important, if not more so, to the physical training. Granted, you need to get out there whipping your tendons and muscles into shape, but without a fortified mental approach as well, you’re toast!

I was on a trail run yesterday and my mind drifted off towards the mental exercise of visualization that always precedes my races by many, many months. I imagine myself pushing through a course hour after hour balancing the mental negativity that inevitably crushes someone into the depths of unknowing defeat saying I can’t do it, I’m going to give up, it’s curtains with the flip side of saying things are wonderful, I did my homework, and I am prepared. It really is true that the tortoise will beat the hare (big hair? hahahah , sorry inside joke) but perseverance, guts, and being brave will drive you further than someone who is simply fast. Of course it helps being faster than your competitors, but races aren’t won on speed alone.

I am slowly learning the lesson in life to worry less about speed and more about savoring moments and enjoying my journeys. I’ve had a few disappointing experiences since the beginning of the year which ironically taught me lessons that were sorely needed. It’s not always fun or exciting but usually the outcome is impactful and useful. I encourage you to make your weekend more about enduring, trying new things, and being brave, than blitzing, hurrying, or zooming through life. I know…I know, easier said than done!

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