Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How races have helped me in life

One reason I like training for and completing events from 5k to marathons, triathlons & everything in between is that they're great teachers.  This is why I also encourage others to do them.

Training for race events has taught me so much about myself, about life and
Enjoying the view after a tough run
about others.  

I've learned how to successfully deal with frustration, pain, boredom, nerves.  I've learned how to prioritize.  How to organize my day, how to properly rest so I have enough energy to do everything I need and want to do.  I've learned how to say no to things I don't want to do & how to say yes to things I do.  Can you do this?

I found that I have more strength than I ever thought possible and I'm not talking just about physical strength.  I now know that I can accomplish things - anything I want to - even if it's scary or I go into unsure of the outcome.  That's ok.  It's the trying that counts, and generally things go much better than my imagination wants me believe it will.  

Interestingly, it's also taught me to be kinder and more understanding to others.  When I ran my 20 mile long run, I quickly found out that I physically couldn't get out of people's way.  Taking a quick side step to avoid people felt like I might not recover.  I learned that maybe when I'm walking down the sidewalk I might keep that in mind when someone seems to be in my way instead of assuming they're a jerk.  

Training for and completing races has given me a better outlook on life, on others and myself.  Each time I complete a race I trained for, it gives me a sense of accomplishment that carries over to other areas of my life.  I know what I'm made of.  How about you?  

I'm more likely to go for things in life and more likely to get them because I don't give up when times get tough, just like when I'm cycling uphill, running my 25th mile or pushing my pace in a 5k.

I've learned that things don't have to be perfect to be good & sometimes bad experiences have the best outcome.  I've come in 2nd to last in two triathlons.  Once because I forgot my helmet & had to run around trying to find a spare, and once because I spent about 15 minutes struggling to get my wetsuit off.  

During these two races I was panicked and felt like the world would end.  It did not.  I learned how to improve and how to help others not make the same mistakes.  And you know what, 2nd to last - or dead last - just doesn't matter.  It's all good!  

No, completing a race won't give you a perfect life.  You'll also have to take what you learned and apply it to other areas to get the benefits.  But I've found that that's pretty easy to do, especially if you consistently train.  

I encourage you to think about your goals and dreams.  Have you thought about participating in a 5k, a 10k, half marathon or even a triathlon?  If so, this is your call.  

You don't need to wait for the time to be just right.  The time will never be just right.  The time to go for it is now.  I promise you, you'll gain so much more than a t-shirt!  

Let me know if I can help, it's what I do. - Written by Emily Collins, Owner & trainer