Sports, Expectations, and Never Surrrender

      

1. If you see a porta potty with no line, use it. Even if you don’t need to.
2. If you have to ask yourself, Does this driver see me? The answer is no.
3. If you have to ask yourself, Are these shorts too short? The answer is yes.
4. 1 glazed doughnut = 2 miles
5. You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.
6. Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.
7. Nobody has ever watched Chariots of Fire from beginning to end. Not even the people who made it.
8. You can never have too many safety pins on your gym bag.
9. Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
10. If you care even a little about being called a jogger versus a runner, you’re a runner.   
 
 
 
 
Competitive people are competitive. Driven people are driven. Some people call the Type A personalities. Some people call them bitchy. The psychology of this situation is hard to describe to non-believers.   

    

Type A behavior often includes:        

  • Competitiveness
  • Strong Achievement-Orientation
  • Certain Physical Characteristics That Result From Stress and Type A Behavior Over Years
  • I am going to tell a story. I hope the story is helpful and I think that it sheds light on some ‘Urban Tribes’ or cultures. I am an amature athlete. I race, I compete, and I train. There is a group of people who fit into this category. Within this group there are rules and hierarchies.       

    I work out nearly everyday. Working out does not equal training. Work out people are commonly called ‘gym rats.’ A gym rat is someone who is always at the club, has spots and equipment they prefer, wears specialized clothing (bike shoes, lycra, and underarmour), and knows the workout routine and the class schedule. We balance our workouts: cardio, weight training, and flexibility. We are a 3rd tier group.       

    Athletes in training: these are people with a race goal. They could be triathletes, runners, skiers, biathletes, the list goes on. When you are in training you have a regime. 

    Week
    Mon
    Tue
    Wed
    Thu
    Fri
    Sat
    Sun
    1
    Rest or run/walk
    1.5 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    1.5 m run
    Rest
    1.5 m run
    30- 60 min walk
    2
    Rest or run/walk
    1.75 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    1.5 m run
    Rest
    1.75 m run
    35-60 min walk
    3
    Rest or run/walk
    2 mi run
    Rest or run/walk
    1.5 m run
    Rest
    2 MI run
    40-60 min walk
    4
    Rest or run/walk
    2.25 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    1.5 m run
    Rest
    2.25 m run
    45-60 min walk
    5
    Rest or run/walk
    2.5 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    2 m run
    Rest
    2.5 m run
    50-60 min walk
    6
    Rest or run/walk
    2.75 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    2 m run
    Rest
    2.75 m run
    55-60 min walk
    7
    Rest or run/walk
    3 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    2 m run
    Rest
    3 m run
    60 min walk
    8
    Rest or run/walk
    3 m run
    Rest or run/walk
    2 m run
    Rest
    Rest
    5-K Race

        

    This is a simple 5K training program. It is important that you train with people on your level. This is an Iron Man schedule:   
     
     

           

         

    I have trained ‘up’ before. It is foolish. I was out of my league. I couldn’t keep pace and was eventually dropped from the group. I have done half-marathons, smaller races 10-5K, and one full marathon. I do not have the drive or competitiveness for the hardcore events.  Two weeks ago I tagged along with a running group. It consisted of Iron Men on their light day, full and half marathoners, and other runners. The leader was an Iron Man and he was intense. They are all intense. It became clear at about mile 2 of 8 that I was a liability. It is running courtesy to leave no man behind, so the faster people lapped me on blocks to keep their pace and keep me in the running. I could tell it was a sacrifice. I dropped out at mile 5 and ran another mile home.      

    I guess what I am trying to explain is that maintaining effort even after disappointment is crucial. Keep going. Quitting is not and option and no excuses. I couldn’t do it = I have to work harder. I am the type to set a goal and finish it. I have standards that I maintain, even at the cost of suffering and embarrassment. I like regiments and I follow them.      

    This all sounds great, but, there is a price. Certain personality characteristics have been consistently found in athletes, such as introversion (Hagberg, Mullin, Bahrke, & Limburg, 1979), lower levels of cooperation (Harder, 1992) and narcissistic personality characteristics (Carroll, 1989). The point being that there is a do or die culture.      

     This is a chicken and egg dilemma. Do we find things that suit our personality or does our personality change. In my family we do not have long happy conversations. We are happy enough, but we are brief and direct. Just the facts ma’am. As all of my siblings and I have grown up with little support we see being supported by others as both dangerous and foolish. Not one of us, cousins on both sides included do not work. We have all been taught that self-reliance is the key to survival. Truth be told, all of us have been taught that it is weak to not be able to handle all of life’s demands.      

     I have suffered incredibly when I have not met this standard. Even my sister, pregnant at 18, made it on her own. It is the way we are. It is judgemental. We do have minimum standards and if those are not met, one is subject to censure. We have no woman support conversations. We don’t even believe in it.       

     Judge away. Anyone else may be happier. I don’t think happiness has ever, ever been an objective in my family culture. Back stories are important, they give a frame of reference. As my father often quoted Tennyson:       

          

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
     Someone had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.       

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    2 Comments

    Filed under 1

    2 responses to “Sports, Expectations, and Never Surrrender

    1. hlawnicki

      I believe that this post squarely places me in the middle. That was the point. I know what the “best of the best” looks like. I see it in front of me all of the time. My sister, for example, kicks my ass.

      Frankly, I am not asking for compassion. No one is truly compassionate and everyone works in their own self interest.

      If you want to receive my opinions about your choices you can ask me. I have never been so rude to point them out to you.

    2. Jodi

      I think this is inspiring Heather, my family is a lot like yours I think. It seems you turned out good though so it inspires me. Thank you

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