Big Dreams No Fear
When your race doesn't go as planned.
By Brad Kelley
As athletes, we sign up for a particular race, we train for hours and miles in the months ahead, we have a training plan that our coach has laid out for us....and then race morning comes upon us.
I know from many of my own experiences that sometimes you can prepare all you want for a race and when the time comes to finally step up to the start line or sometime during the race you're given a whole new set of circumstances that you were not expecting. Could be the weather changes in the middle of the race, you are not feeling your best and have stomach issues, a last minute bike problem, or after the race starts you have problems with your swim goggles, sudden cramps and numbness on the bike or you simply forgot to put socks in your run gear bag so now you must go sockless for the marathon run portion of a triathlon knowing that your feet will be blistered badly.
I have had so many situations and odd injuries happen to me over the many years of racing but I know that I always carry an extra pair of goggles in case mine break and I triple check to make sure I have socks in my run bag. Speaking of bad days, what would you do if you saw a bear while racing? That alone would cause many to say...I am done!!! Come pick me up!! The picture below was from the Whistler Ironman a few years ago and unknowingly my friend just past by the bear. Now that is what I consider an unusual day at the races.
It is at these moments in a given race you realize you might not achieve your goals that you set out for a particular race that defines you. I always admire the pro athlete who had an absolutely horrible day where nothing went right, has no chance at a podium finish or cash prizes and yet still finishes rather than giving up. It shows me he came to finish and he did just that.
Being paralyzed 14 years ago and not knowing if I would ever walk again I might have a different perspective than you. I personally realize that I am so incredibly blessed and it is a gift that I'm even able to do the many athletic events I do. I go into each race knowing that I will put forth my best effort, with injuries or obstacles and get to the finish line. In life, we all have good and bad days and it is no different out on the race course. Don't look at those bad races as failures but rather look at them as character building days when things did not go your way. There are many people out there that would love to have an opportunity to do an athletic event but physically it is impossible. We all want to do well in our sporting events but we have to look at the big picture too.
Spending time with and thinking of disabled children and adults who are less fortunate certainly makes my days go better and no doubt puts a smile on my face.
So at that event when you don't achieve your goals think about how lucky you are to even start a race rather than the frustrating day you are having or your finish time that was far from what you expected.
Feel free to email me if you have questions or comments.