Xterra World’s Maui 2013
We have all heard that competition is 90% mental and if you haven’t heard this well then, competition is 90% mental. Being in a competitive event is largely mental not so much physical. The body is capable of incredible things. Competition is like taking a step off the top of a 100 ft flagpole. It’s scary enough getting there, but then go ahead and step off the edge. As in once you have trained for the race, you are not done.
Enter your attitude. Competition is not about the other people, ultimately. It’s about getting up again and again when you get knocked down. You might think, and it may look like it on the surface to someone observing, that, for example, being passed by someone else while in a race is being knocked down. It’s not. It’s the mind that knocks us down. The inner dialogue might go something like this: “this is stupid, why am I even here, I am not an athlete, I must suck if that person just passed me, I will never amount to anything.” Other athletes are there facing similar self doubts, too. Otherwise why enter a race? You could just pick a day and go run a 5k, without the bother of a entering a race. We enter a race because at a race other athletes are there facing the same self doubts, too. We are not separate from everyone and everything around us, though the ego wants us to think we are.
Have the right attitude to not listen to that inner dialogue, the ego. This is where racing becomes 90% mental. No matter how many times that little voice knocks you down, keep getting up! You may hear that voice, but you don’t have to listen to it. Listening to That voice will lead to more pain and suffering than the event itself. The ego likes mental pain and suffering and wants to feed off it, it creates it. Yet you can diffuse it by smiling at this voice, laugh at it when it says: “who do you think you are, trying to be an athlete!” With tenderness and determination, humor and deep patience can you move beyond it to the vastness of life. When we give to something wholeheartedly, we step into the ring with clarity, and then we will be free to determine when it might be appropriate to quit.