Today I was out at the track basically all alone. Which is fine. I sometimes like it when it’s serene and peaceful versus the organized chaos that usually exists out there. But when elements of my training require me to push myself to the max, I sometimes struggle to find the right kind of motivation when it’s just practice. In competition, it comes easy. The atmosphere is buzzing, you have competitors there to push you, and your adrenaline is on overdrive. But at the end of practice today, I just had myself, my coach, and a laser beam to run my flying 20’s through.
The first two were mediocre. They were fine for practice, but they definitely weren’t lighting up the track. For the third one I tried a little self-talk just to see if I could get a little more out of myself and it worked. Not to shabby. My coach proceeded to tell me it was the fastest time he’s ever had someone run at this time of the year. Well, he’s coached at BYU for the past 30 years so while that may not hold much weight in my head looking at the big scheme of things, I am guessing it was supposed to make me feel satisfied with my effort. But he then followed up with that statement by telling me I was just a hair off of the best time he’s ever had any of his athletes run. It was meant as a “job well done” but I didn’t take it that way. I saw it as an immediate challenge.
And that was all I needed. My next run smashed his all-time coaching record. Unknowingly, he had given me my motivation to dig deeper. Because I hate. To. Lose. I create competition whenever possible and now that I had a specific challenge in front of me, I could rise to the occassion, so to speak. Sure, it existed only in my head…these athletes from the past 30 years aren’t people I really know, nor do I consider them my competition, but they presented me the opportunity to make them my competition for the day.
Sometimes motivation comes in various forms. For me, when I can make something a competition and find someone to be a competitor, I am able to dig that much deeper to get the job done. I’m pretty sure I would have been the fastest gal ever to go to BYU had I gone there, but now I think it’s official. 🙂