I realized last Saturday that I was letting all my worry about many different things get in the way of my enjoying life and actually making me miserable. What a cruddy way to be living day to day.
What was I worried about? It’s all around my upcoming race in July – the one across the state of Tennessee. I was worried about my gear – which pack should I use? How can I make it lighter? What shoes should I wear? Was I going to get blisters? What if my feet swelled so much so that the shoes no longer worked? What if I couldn’t handle the heat and sun? What if this, what if that? You name it, I could worry about it.
I was doing two long runs every weekend – it had gotten so that I was looking forward to going to work on Monday – can’t say as I ever thought that way before.
I finally had a realization. Why the heck was I worrying so much? Here I am telling people that the whole purpose of life is to experience joy and that we can and should experience it NOW, NOT when whatever it is we’re after manifests itself. And I was doing just what I was preaching against. What a hypocrite.
Despite not wanting to be a hypocrite, I also didn’t like not enjoying where I was right then and there – or more accurately – here and now. I have been looking forward to this run for a year now and here I was making myself miserable as the time drew nearer. I was creating all the bad things that could possibly happen just by worrying. And what good was worrying going to do anyway? Preparation is not the same as worrying.
I knew what I had to do. I knew that I had been down for the count for 9 weeks and although that bothered me and I was concerned that it put me behind the eight ball, training wise, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it at this point. So why keep dwelling on it (aka “worrying”). Did that improve my endurance? Of course not. All I could do was do what I was able to do right now.
What good was worrying about how hot it might be, or how heavy my pack was? Ok, thinking about these two things led me to be able to prepare – I trained in the heat of the day to try to get acclimatized. I wore my pack with all the gear and water I would be carrying for 10 days. That’s preparation. There was no need to worry because there was not a darn thing else I could do and worrying would not make it cooler in Tennessee nor would it help me acclimatize to anything other than more worry. I think we’re all pretty acclimatized to that – we do it without even knowing that we’re doing it.
So, all worry could do would be to make me miserable and not enjoy my time leading up to the race. And it put me in a negative vibrational state and great things do NOT come when you’re in such a state. I was likely to attract things I didn’t want.
I simply decided to think about the variables and plan appropriately and then enjoy what I was doing. When a problem arose or something that I needed to deal with, I expressed gratitude and appreciation that it had come up prior to the run so that I really could deal with it. That is preparation. There was nothing negative in it at all. I went about enjoying the two days I had left with long runs. Instead of wishing I was home doing something else, I concentrated on the event and how great it was going to be to participate and meet other folks – both runners and those along the way.
I stopped worrying about “what if I don’t finish?” knowing that I would do the best I could and whatever happened, happened. I would only quit if things were really bad for me (injury that would prevent continuing). I was in this to find out what I was made of and that was what would happen. I was not going to lose my job or my pride if I didn’t finish. All of the other people in my normal life wouldn’t even consider trying it. There was no “face” to lose. Just do the best you can, Terrie. And that’s what will happen. I visualize the outcome and that’s what’s important.
If worry is in your way, take a different look at it. Worry is also a form of fear so look at your fears and find out if you’re really “worried” (socially acceptable) or “afraid” (not so much acceptable). Are your fears realistic? If so, are they something that would keep you from accomplishing your goal? If so, then reconsider the goal. If not, then acknowledge them and put them aside.
- Remember why you’re doing what it is you’re doing.
- Feel the joy that the achievement of this goal will bring.
- Plan and prepare. Look at any event/thought/obstacle that comes up as part of your preparation. Don’t focus on it, work on it.
- Enjoy what you are doing right now.