This week is UTA week and for those of you who haven't heard me talking about it, this is the biggest ultra running event (festival) on the Australian calendar. It is such an incredible vibe to be a part of, not just because you see elite athletes do incredible things, but more because you get to see the everyday runner push themselves beyond their perceived limitations. What I love even more about this is that we have so many people from the FEAT community getting involved in this event.
Personally, this event has actually come at a perfect time for me. I am not running, nor participating in any way other than fueling my wife as she runs. But as some of you may be aware, I have been training recently to do an Ironman, something that I have never done before and a distance in three disciplines that are definitely going to challenge me. I registered for this one event back in June 2019 and since then it has been postponed 3 times, pushing my training regime out further and further.
This has truly tested my motivation and resolve, which is largely why I am sharing these confessions with you today. One of the biggest fears for me in these events is the simplest and most obvious, what if I fail! Like what if I actually can't do it and give up. Failure is a huge possibility in these sorts of events and who am I in the world if I can not complete this challenge? especially now that I will have had close to 28 months of training time.
It is a fear of failure that often prevents people from starting. They are so scared of the 'what-if' and forget to include the emotional responses that will come if you do fail. I think it is so important to acknowledge that we all lose sometimes. We fail to get what we want. Friends and loved ones may leave, we make a decision we regret or we simply try our hardest and come up short. In this, it's not the losing that defines us, nor is it how often we lose. It is how we lose and what we choose to do after the fact. On your journey to achieve a goal in whatever area of life, whether you achieve it or not is important, but it's not what's most important. What matters most is how we move toward that goal and what we learn about ourselves along the way.
When you are bold with your targets, people either run to you or run away from you. There are those who are inspired or not inspired. The ones that are inspired rally around you and they will commit to the cause with you, doing anything to support your success. As a group, you start to realise that you have the power to achieve anything you want to achieve. Walking along the path together you will stand for each other, hold each other to account when the road gets tough and ultimately change the world through your words and the actions that come from this commitment to your word. True happiness lies in this world of stretching to achieve and connecting to those who will truly invest and support you along the journey.
Every single one of us possesses the strength to do something that we are not sure we can accomplish. This is present in all aspects of our lives, be it to take on a physical challenge that is well beyond our conceivable grasps, to stand up for yourself, to put a bold idea out there that makes you very vulnerable to criticism or simply to tell someone you love them. It is in this world that I am truly empowered by the words of Scott Jurek - "If you run long enough, that tends to happen. Whatever quantitative measures of success you set out to achieve become either unattainable or meaningless. The reward of running - or anything - lies within us... We focus on something external to motivate us, but we need to remember it is the process of reaching for the prize - not the prize itself - that can bring us peace and joy."