A word that’s been fairly key in the recovery process this year. Whilst staying on that ward this poster was up in the stairwell and also outside the outpatients group room I spent many long but productive hours sitting in:
It’s message spoke to me in a way when I first saw it and is proving essential in the process that is the open task that is the formation, cultivation and maintenance of a new mindset. So what is it:
Persistence: “the fact of continuing a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition“.
It’s the rest of the text that’s most important though: “There is no giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”
What am I taking from it? That anything worth achieving won’t be easy and there’s a long road that leads to the eventual goal. I think that means that it’s important to notice and enjoy (or perhaps not) all those small steps involved along the way; the process of getting to where you want to. The long journey to the destination is just important as the destination itself.
I’ve read this steps idea better described using the term Compounding Gains; each day you get a little bit better from the place you were at the day before, even if it’s even just small or maybe even intangible. On a day-to-day basis the gains one makes may be trivial—perhaps even too small to observe—but looking back over weeks, months, and years the gains that CAN be achieved are enormous. Practice running and the workouts and training required and there are speed and endurance gains to be had. Practice mindful meditation and self-care, however hard those tasks may seem, and there’s peace and contentment to be found.
This seems to echo the incremental approach in the coaching philosophy of Patrick Sang, coach to elite Kenyan runners, including Eliud Kipchoge. One thing I should note here as I start this adventure that will be the marathon in 2018 is that I’ll reference and talk about training methods and philosophy I find useful. I’m far from elite Kenyan standard but I’m going to apply everything I can to help me on my training journey.
The word keeps cropping up. I came across this earlier in the year too:
I don’t feel like this just applies to Mo Farah or Roger Federer for example. You, regardless of what you’re looking to do or achieve, are your own champion regardless of what situation you’re in.
We only become better at the things we love doing through persistence and regular practice. Work hard and great things can be achieved.
Quick Links and Bits:
I read and see a lot, and often quickly forget what I’ve read almost in its entirety. The below are really worth a moment of your time:
We Runner’s all sometimes make it known that running is our cheap form of therapy. This Runner’s World piece by Scott Douglas on the biotherapeutic effects of running as relief from depression is a little old but very much worthy of a read.
One thing I’d neglected as part of my training for Robin Hood marathon earlier this year was the amount of mental strength I would need to call upon when it got tough. At Mile 19 my head told me I was ready to give up. Alex Hutchinson explores whether the physical limits we perceive are just figments of our overactive brains.
EI’ve regularly started listening to the Rich Roll podcast. This video from Rich is the ultimate in seize the moment motivators.
I entered an all abilities 10,000m track event organised by Kent AC in September. I DNF at that event but stuck around to watch the other runner’s efforts in the other races. One of those runners seemed a little different to the other athletes pacing out 25 laps. He was recently profiled in The Guardian.