I have heard many times before, and can completely agree with, that if you lower your expectations you will enjoy experiences more and your happiness will be lifted.
A great example of this, I am sure most of us have noticed, comes from watching movies. We have all seen a movie that we were in the least bit impressed with but everyone we know made it feel like we were about to watch the greatest movie in cinematic history. And have all seen a movie that we knew absolutely nothing about prior to watching it but it turned out being a movie you could place into your top 10 movies of all time.
I think that I need to take this approach with myself when it comes to running ultras. Go into them with an open mind. Not with an exact outcome in mind.
After my last race, as I mentioned in the race report, I was a little frustrated with my results. But I had zero reasons to feel that way.
During my drive home that day, I even screamed at the top of my lungs (like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50) hoping to rid myself of all of the unnecessary and negative emotions. And right when I did this I thought about what Ray Lewis said to during a pregame speech to the Stanford basketball team.
“If you ain’t pissed off for greatness, that means you’re okay with being mediocre.”
For some reason, that gave me personal reassurance my feelings were valid.
And in that moment I became at ease, at peace and had more of an acceptance for what was to come.
I think it is paramount that we expect greatness from ourselves with our goals and passions. From that expectation, we strive to become our best we can possibly be. And when you are your best, you can feel satisfaction.
I have been preparing and training myself to be my best self for my next big race. And with that, I can dissolve my expectations and just do the best I can do.
I’m not really sure that even makes sense.
By preparing to be your best and by expecting your best self, you can drop your overall expectations because you know that you did everything you can to be your best on a given day, race or whatever you do.
And with the elimination of expectations of a certain event, you accept how things will unfold for you.
You can accept everything with happiness, gratitude and an understanding from an open mind.
I feel that this is where my mind is right now. Even though I still have about 2 and a half weeks left of running to do before the Bighorn 100, I feel that the physical training is complete. I am not in taper mode just yet, but I think I am at the point where I am maintaining fitness. I have trained with high expectations of myself, now though, I can accept that what is done, is done.
With that, I can set my mind at ease knowing that no matter what the results may be on race day, I will feel nothing but satisfaction and happiness.