Most of us have specific goals and targets - finish in under 'x' time, run my race in an average pace of 'y', win my age group, beat my sister, have fun! Sometimes, we have such a tight grasp on these outcomes that it actually makes it harder to achieve what we are trying to accomplish. What causes us to hold onto these goals so tightly? Could it perhaps be a question of identity? Do we too closely define who we are by what we do? It would be a great learning experience to ask other people in our lives how they see us. I suspect we may be surprised by what we hear.
Don't get me wrong, goals and targets are good to establish for yourself. Go ahead and aim for that specific goal! Remember though to have a clear understanding of the orientation, without holding on to a rigid fixation. Once you establish that insight into your goals, you are free to enter a state of flow. One way to gain that awareness is to not ask yourself what can you get from sport, but instead ask what can you give to the sport? In pondering this question, several Fit4You athletes came to mind:
- Pedaling your bike for an entire afternoon to raise money for Wafer (food pantry)
- Completing an Ironman after doctors were not sure if you would ever be able to run due to cancer
- Completing an Ironman with your Mother's photo in hand to honor a life lost
- Completing an Ironman after a health scare that required the implantation of an internal defibrillator/ pace maker AND battling one injury after another
- Showing the world that there is no age barrier to accomplishing what you set out to do
- Overcoming addiction and then a health condition rendering you without calf muscles. Only to finish a 100 mile run and spread the joy of finishing a race no matter that you have slowed etc...
- Showing tenacious resilience to complete a race at the world championships after battling a recurring injury in order to share the experience with your family
So as I reflect on what I can give to the sport, I can assure you that so many athletes are giving in ways that inspire the rest of us to better people.... not just athletes.
"We're not what we do, what we look like or what we feel. We are something beyond all of that."