It does not matter who you are, you will encounter a day where you will have a bad attitude. Wither it be towards work, school, family, or your exercise routine, you will face these days. I seem to be facing a lot of these days recently.
I am the type of person who gets frustrated when things do not go according to my plan. I go for a 4 mile easy run that turns into a 4 mile battle against myself and my attitude. I run a race that I think will be great when it turns out my calves have other plans and my attitude goes down the drain. This is common of a lot of people. When something you expected to go well takes a left turn and leaves you frustrated, where else is your attitude going to go?
I started to realize in January that whenever these hardships start to take place in my training that I have a choice in my attitude. Wither it be to wallow in the suffering or seek out the good in the situation, I ultimately get to decide how I respond. In true honest form, I have not been the best at picking a positive attitude 100% of the time. Some days a just crap days where you need to wallow or suffer. But once you allow yourself the pity party of an hour or afternoon, you need to brush yourself off and move forward. And when you choose to have a better attitude, you begin to work on your mental toughness.
Mental toughness is nothing new to me. I have been working on it for a year now and each day is a different ball game. It all goes back to picking my attitude when the situation is crap. I know that when I decide to be positive in a negative situation, that I have created a new level of my mental toughness that will help me push through in an even more challenging time.
The best example are the past two races I have run, the Tenacious Ten 10k and the Rhody Run 12k. Both races started out great and turned to terrible within 15 minutes. In the Tenacious Ten, I was a mile into the race when I realized I would not be setting any records in my pace, let alone be able to make it to the end. I had a choice to make about my attitude, and I picked to turn the crummy race into a fun time by saying hi to everyone I knew on the course and thanking all the volunteers. Taking a moment to really decide which way to go in the race made all the difference. I could have let the race defeat me, but I didn’t. In the 12k I ran this past weekend, I used what I had learned in my previous race to get through another challenging situation. My mental toughness grew a little bit more and I know that I am ready for the new challenging race that comes my way. You can hear me rant a bit more about this in the latest episode of “Miles to Chicago”, where I talk about what happened at the 12k.
All of this is to simply say that you have a choice to make when things in your life go south. You can either wallow in the struggle or look for the good. No matter what happens, you have to decide. Do you want to grow your mental game or do you want to be stuck? I hope you choose to push forward, no matter what your situation is.
Until next time
-Be Fearless, Go Boldly