The Process vs. The Outcome

I have spent much of the last two weeks reflecting on the last few months. I started the year eager to put 2009 behind me. I was certain that my injuries would heal quickly and I would be back on the race circuit pronto like nothing had happened. I set lofty goals. I wanted a do-over of 2009.

Of course, now, with the passage of time, I realize how foolhardy I was. I was too optimistic. Unrealistic. Sadistic.

My thoughts have led me to several conclusions. My haste to return to racing was motivated by many factors, many of which deviate from the reasons that have compelled me to race for so many years.

I have been able to keep the fire burning for so long because of my passion for the sport. The ups and downs I have encountered through the years have been bearable because, ultimately, I enjoy the daily grind. Certainly, racing to my potential is the goal. But, I take pleasure in the process which softens the blow when the outcome is not what I had envisioned.

I lost sight of the process this year. It got misplaced in healing, anger, making up for lost time, rushing to race. How did I let this happen? I pressured myself to prove that age does not matter. I pressured myself to prove that the terrible races from 2009 were a fluke. I pressured myself to prove that with hard work one can achieve whatever goals are set. I pressured myself to prove that once again I could be a World Champion.

I allowed myself to be swept away by the idea of a positive outcome. Instead, I have struggled physically from injury and placed myself on an emotional roller coaster.

Now, I have let the pressures go. My body will heal on its own time clock, a process that cannot be rushed.

I am now reevaluating the process by trying to find the enjoyment I once knew and making the outcome good health rather than a race result. I am running on forgotten trails. My rides are devoid of intervals. I am not letting pain creep into my workouts. It is time to explore the great outdoors.

I will once again appreciate the process. Then the outcome will come.

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8 Responses

  1. Bret says:

    Enjoy the great outdoors! Do your thing and have fun!

  2. Andree says:

    Thank you for the post. I have been on the same roller coaster-missing every other year due to injuries and illness (including this one) being angry and frustrated and trying to rush back. This is a good reminder to relax and let things happen when the time is right

  3. Paula says:

    What a great post. Wise words of a mature athlete(and I don't mean in age!).

  4. Regina says:

    What wonderful words! They mostly express what I'm going through. Thank you so much!

  5. sallyaston says:

    Great post! I am slowly coming back from injury so this post hit home with me, I have to remind myself daily that my body has it's own timeline for healing/comeback and it doesnt always match what is in my mind 🙂

  6. Christi says:

    That is an absolutely great post! I am going to let my process lead to the outcome!

  7. Scott says:

    Right on, sister!

  8. The Dude says:

    Great insight. It's nice to strip everything away and get back to the fun! (At my speed it has to be fun, because it sure isn't fast!)