I was watching a lecture recently discussing the traits that are considered necessary to succeed in cross-cultural lifestyles. As I listened, it became obvious that these same traits are necessary for success in anything new that you attempt, where the potential for failure exists, including running.
The traits are:
1. Be Flexible. Whenever you begin training for a new distance or PR-time, you have to be flexible with your schedule. Ultimately, its your body that determines your training schedule. Listen to it. When it is ready to push harder, you’ll know.
2. Have the Ability to Fail. If everything that you try works, then you are not trying hard enough. Failures will come. But don’t stay down. There is great value in trying something new, and, at first, failing to succeed.
3. Have a Sense of Humor. You can’t control the weather. Or your boss. Or your job. Your kids. Your health. Whenever obstacles present themselves, just do what you can. And laugh about the rest. Having all of that tension in your body will not help you run any farther or faster.
4. Perseverance. You have to stay committed to the bigger picture. I am training for a first-ever half marathon. That is the goal. I approach everyday and every new workout with excitement and optimism, but I realize that today’s workout is not the end, but just another step leading me to the goal. Failing to successfully complete a workout does not mean that I won’t achieve the goal.
Whatever we are attempting in life, having the right attitude, reasonable expectations, and sticking with the plan will always bring success and happiness.