On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
Something I’m excited for. I signed myself up for a 100-mile race at the beginning of February in Texas. It will have been 3 years since my last 100-mile race, and honestly, I didn’t expect to ever attempt one again. Since my last race, I have suffered the two greatest tragedies of my life, unexpectedly losing my brother-in law at age 32, and then my sister at age 43. I am running this race in large part due to those losses.
The race takes place on my brother in law’s birthday, in Texas where my sister lived the last 7 years of her life. I selected this race because it felt like a perfect way to honor and feel connected to them both. I am certain that throughout my extensive training, and on race day, I will think of them often. Though I’m sure it sounds odd, this will be therapy and will help me heal.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” This was the exact question my oldest son asked me when I told him I signed up for another 100-mile race. The honest answer is no. I’ll be 3 years older and slower than I was at my last 100-mile race by the time this one starts. This challenge scares me, and I love it.
Running 100 miles straight is as challenging and brutal as you’d expect, which will require a ton of intense training. It will also bring me to my absolute limit physically and mentally on race day. Knowing this will be my final race of this kind, is extremely exciting. Races like this often leave me feeling like I must top myself again somehow, so having an exit date makes it feel more special for me. I will give this final race everything I have, and I hope at the end, I will walk away proud and a better version of myself.
Something I heard and loved. This week I heard the phrase, “execution over excuses.” This appealed to me and though simple, I feel is important. I encounter people constantly that tell me what they know they should be doing, followed by a litany of excuses why they aren’t. For example, how they know exercise would help them but they’re busy, tired, whatever.
This is always fascinating because it’s as if they’ve been given the answer to a problem, only to ignore it. In fact, more energy is usually spent on justifying, explaining excuses, and complaining than on pursuing the solutions. If there is something you know would help a problem you’re having, start executing rather than making excuses.
Something I believe. We all have worries. They can be personal, financial, business-related, health-related, you name it. I believe that how we mentally deal with our worries can make all the difference in the world. When I described my thoughts on this matter with a patient this week, she eloquently told me that what I described is called “Even if” rather than “What if?”
“What if?” is a state of mind where we scare ourselves silly with all outcomes and variables without really using them to our advantage. We worry and stress about issues both large and small but don’t do anything to break the pattern. “Even if” is where we start by considering what the worst possible outcome can be. Once we understand what that is, we usually understand it’s not as bad as we thought, and it loses power over us. Then, because we know how we don’t want it to end, we start taking steps to create the result we desire. One mindset uses worry to paralyze us, while the other uses it as a weapon for success.
Some quotes I love.
“Only you can master your mind, which is what it takes to live a bold life filled with accomplishments most people consider beyond their capability.” – David Goggins
“If the grass is greener on the other side, stop staring, stop comparing, and start watering the grass you’re standing on.”
“Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” – H.L. Mencken
“Stop trying to skip the struggle. That’s where character is built. Embrace it. Learn from it. Grow from it.”
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