Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bad luck OR Opportunity

I woke up this morning with plans and lots of them. My intentions? Go to church, workout, meet a friend for lunch, get my clothes ready for the week, go grocery shopping, get my lunches ready for the week and write my blog post for the week.

As I write this, I have accomplished nothing. I got sidelined by dropping my cell phone in a full sink of water.

I have problems with water and cell phones. Here is the history of my cell phone destruction:
  • Dropped my cell phone in a bucket of water while washing my floors. Cell phone never worked again. 
  • Dropped my cell phone in a puddle of water while rushing to a triathlon start line. Cell phone busted.
  • Dropped my cell phone down an elevator shaft. Cell phone made calls but the display was shattered.
  • Sweat all over my cell phone because I needed to talk to my friend while running on the treadmill. Cell phone still worked but the key pad would not type properly. 
  • Dropped my cell phone in a full sink of water (this morning) and it is now drying out and I am hoping it works tomorrow.
On Friday night I went to see Bill Rodgers speak, and it was quite interesting. What did I learn about/from him? Well he is an accomplished marathoner who spent some years as a smoker prior to winning the Boston marathon and the New York marathon four times a piece. I also learned he won twenty-two marathons in his career but he also DNF'd 8 plus marathons in his career. One race he quit at 25 miles and one Boston marathon quit at the top of heartbreak hill.

Boston Bill Rodgers talked about, even laughed about all of the races he didn't complete. He is so passionate about running it is almost difficult to follow the course of his story telling to decipher the true message in his story, but in steps my mom to translate! My mom went with me to see Bill Rodgers speak since she was in town for the evening and she pointed out the fact that Boston Bill was very forthright with his struggles and very passionate about his running.

Life is about opportunity! Bill Rodgers talked about our continued need to look around to see what our 'competition' is doing. As a matter of fact, someone asked Bill what he typically eats pre-race. He responded with a long story about another runner who was eating a huge meal before a race and the reaction he had when he saw the guy eating biscuits and gravy and a mound of bacon, just to watch the guy drop out a mile into the race. The point of this story was that sometimes paying attention to the competition does not adequately reflect what is actually going on. The natural assumption? The guy who ate a ton before the race probably had plans of only running a mile and dropping out. By the way Bill eats macaroni and cheese pre-race. Bill took this scenario as an opportunity to better understand that looking around at others does not always adequately translate to what is actually happening. My friend Laurie kind of blogged about this exact topic this week; you can read her post here

The real message for me is that unless I do the research and really know someone, I do not know their entire story so I prefer not to judge. The opportunity in all of this is understanding that I am my own competition, so knowing how different things impact me, is what truly matters. Quite honestly, what works for my friends is likely not going to work for me and so I don't really pay attention to what they, or any other athletes, are doing except to cheer them on. If I see something that makes sense, I might try to adopt that method and see what happens but picking up the entire path another person is choosing could actually result in failure. I stick to the professionals for my strategies. By the way, for Bill heat seemed to be the theme he kept bringing up that negatively impacted him at races, as we know, others thrive on heat. So what does that tell me? I need to take the opportunity to learn if I am better in the cold or hot.  

Lately, I have been struggling with my workouts. Why? Perhaps because I was recently sick and still have the residual head and chest stuff going on, I haven't been getting enough sleep and I haven't been fueling properly? Depending on the day, it is probably a combination of the three. So, I need to sleep more, eat better and take some Mucinex. If that doesn't solve my problem? Well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. 

What I am saying here is that yes, my cell phone issues have a theme, I need to pay attention to the fact that my cell phone busted at an 80% rate because of water. This is my opportunity to learn; I need to quit bringing my phone around water because that is the item that keeps destroying my phone. 

The bottom line is this: When something seemingly bad happens, take it as an opportunity to learn what you are doing, and for us endurance hobbyists learn from our own challenges and truck on! 

Bad luck is perception, I view it as an opportunity!

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