At the two-mile mark … 13:15, 16, 17, 13:18.
Shoot -- 18 seconds slower than last week. Oh man, I don't feel so well. This side stitch is getting worse. Ugh, isn't that the girl that I passed in mile one? Dang, she's going too fast; I can't hang. Maybe I should just slow down for a little while...
Have you ever heard the saying that cross-country is a mental sport, and we are all insane? That has to be one of the most accurate sayings of all time! Racing is mental, and in a 3.1 mile race, it's insane how many mental battles we face.
One of which is temptation. Especially the temptation to slow down when all the odds seem like they're stacked against us. I think this is one of our greatest mental battles as racers.
When we experience the slightest disappointment, or when our bodies begin to hurt, our minds immediately tempt us to do the opposite of what we should do.
Temptation in Life
The same thing happens in life. We constantly face temptation to do things, say things, be something that we ought not to be. Yet, we have this little voice in our head saying that if we do this now it will be better in the long run (pun definitely intended).
This past week I ran the Astronaut Invitational with my team, and the feelings I described at the beginning of this article led me to the temptation to back off my pace -- which I did. I battled briefly, but in the end that little voice in my head won. But think about it: what did I gain from slowing down -- from giving in to the voice in my head?
If we obey that little voice, it will steal, kill, and destroy our goals and dreams. If we allow temptation to take hold of us, we will give up what we've worked so hard for in exchange for only a fleeting moment of relief, or fun, or satisfaction.
Whether it's in our social life, financial state, academic life, or running career, we face temptation in all different forms -- some more difficult than the others.
So, knowing what I know now, what would I have done differently?
I would have battled that little voice in my head for a little longer -- just enough to give it a run for it's money (pun intended #2). In that split second, I would've reminded myself of my goals, of what I want to achieve, and that in the end, "a moment of pain will be worth a lifetime of glory."
This past weekend, I let that little voice get the best of me. I will never get that race back to do it all over again. What I will get is another opportunity -- another opportunity to take the lesson that I learned and apply it so that I can defeat that voice that tempts me with its smooth, persuasive words. I will ignore that voice and chase after my dream.
I encourage you this week, in every area of your life, to battle that little voice in your head that tempts you to do something, say something, or be something that you are not. Keep your eyes, heart, and mind focused on your dream, on who you want to be. It is this relentless focus that will kill that voice and make you not only a stronger runner but a more confident person, as well.
As always, run fast, stay strong, keep the faith and remember you are awesome!