Lets face it, in life and in running we really are only as good as our last day or workout. Frank Shorter said it best when he said “You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what happened.” What does this really mean? Think about it, lets analyze why this is important.
The similarities in life and running both can pertain to this idea and I will try to mix it up here.
When you run a marathon or race or have a great workout you have to bask in your glory that day, wake up the next day and go forth and put it behind you and move forward confidently. But you still have to apply the same principles of greatness in that new day and direction and not get complacent or ease off because you had a great day yesterday.
Such is life isn’t it? You go out and have great days at work producing great results or in your personal life. You wake up the next day and you have to put that day behind you, move forward with confidence but continue to show great work ethic. If you become complacent you know how it goes.
What about the flip side? Back to running, you have a really bad run, a bad workout or perhaps you had such a horrible day on race day at your marathon you have trained so hard for. Now what? Shorter says “You must forget your last marathon before you try another, your mind can’t know what happened” Chances are you bonked really hard and went through some serious struggle and pain just to finish. I have been there. But I have seen over the years many runners let that scare them off from doing what they can to push themselves and put it on the line in the future. It in a sense, it traumatized them and in many ways kills their confidence levels and hopes and dreams for their goals. But these experiences will only make you stronger and help you grow if you let it. You must look at it that way. Move forth in a new direction, put your last race behind you and approach this new race with a positive and ambitious manner. There is no other way.
What about the flip side in life? Probably the biggest lesson in forgetting before going forward would be LOVE, you must forget the past and let go before you can move forward. If you hold on to the past it truly never frees you from moving forward. I know it is hard to do. Most people will put up walls from the past into their relationships in the future and well we know how that goes. It never works out. The best idea or advice I have is you have to take responsibility for your own shortcomings in your relationships and then apply your shortcomings and learn from them. You grow from these experiences and you become clearer what it is you need or want. Visualize your soul instead of visualizing your past.
Back to running, elite athletes are very good at putting their bad workouts behind them. I would say that may be one of the biggest factors in their success and what separates them from the rest of the pack such as ourselves. They know there are going to bad days and they accept that. I think we need to learn from them and know that it is part of running, you have your good days and you have your bad days. It is how you move forward that will define you.
In life there will always be something we have to let go to continue moving forward in the future. The loss of a loved one, an argument with somebody, the loss of a job, a home, it is life. Life will throw all kinds of things at you during the course of your time here but what counts is how much you keep moving forward. The past is only there to help us learn to be better and to teach us there is always a tomorrow and at any given moment, it is a chance to turn it all around in your life, the choice is yours.
I hope your running helps you to have a better life and I hope your life can help to make you a better runner. Get out there and ENGAGE and try to be great all day, everyday. Have a great day.