I’ve had a few family members plan other things for the Blackwood Marathon weekend. This week, when I spoke to a relative, he said, “Oh! Are you still planning on doing that!?” as if he had expected me to back out.
And when chatting with a family friend about the event she more or less said she’d be proud to see me complete even just half of one leg!
Even Mat has suggested that I do only two or three legs, rather than all five.
Perhaps my nature or history might suggest that I would have backed out? Perhaps there is so much doubt in my ability to complete that people would expect me to wait until I was “more ready”? Perhaps people don’t know how much I have trained and that the timing seems to be now or never? Perhaps they realise that I would rather do WELL and therefore might not normally have tried to do such an event when I know there is every likelihood that I will, in fact, do quite poorly.
One of the first thoughts that comes to mind is a quote from a university professor Mr Swedburg, who didn’t know it, but was paraphasing a quote from my grade 4 teacher, Mr Saas.
Mr Saas said:
If you can’t learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.
And Mr Swedburg said:
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.
It’s true, I might be underprepared. I probably am. I might fail miserably. But the fact is I have tried! I haven’t given up, and I have shown more stick-to-it-ness in this last year than I probably ever have for any other thing in my life! And I’m enjoying most of it, even the parts I’m not quite so good at! If nothing else, I am enjoying the learning and lessons!
This article from Sport at its Best is quite timely. He is referring to a few quotes from Agassi’s book Open, where Agassi talks about how he was treated differently when he started to win, and how fleeting the good feeling of winning was. The author of this blog, Duff Gibson, says:
That’s why I believe that at the highest level, very successful athletes are more about the challenge than the actual victory. In other words, the greatest fulfillment comes from the journey rather than the destination.
How often have we heard that in one form or another? But it seems far more true to me now that ever before, because now I have really challenged myself on this journey. It’s been revealing and interesting, and to take a word from Duff: fulfilling!
Do I believe I can do the Blackwood Marathon? Yes, I do.
Do I believe I will do well? No, I don’t.
Is there every chance I will fall in a heap? Yes, there is!
Possibly not even complete? Yes, that might happen.
Does it matter? Nope, not really!
It only matters now, to me, that I TRY. I can’t do any better than that.
“At least not this year!” she says with a mischevious grin… 😉