As I look back I realize that so much has happened in the last 6 – 8 months – although at the time it seemed that there was not much at all going on. Funny how that happens! This weekend was the culmination of about 6 MONTHS of planning for me and probably much more than that for the organizers of Ragnar Relay Texas Hill Country. It seems like just last week I was promoting Ragnar at The Army Marathon expo and working out the details of a Runners Clinic with Joey Bishop of Endurance Outfitters!
Besides the athletic side of my life there is so much more that takes place, outside of public view. My life as a mother and wife; adjunct instructor of adult education….friend to a small circle of folks as well as the inner world of my own psyche. This inner world is the one I was reflecting on as I walked my 75 lb lab for three miles in an attempt to calm my mind and ease my spirit – as well as tire out the dog. I was thinking about all the times we all say ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ – usually with regret or longing.
This weekend I let go of those phrases and just went with the flow! No expectations other than to finish each loop of the relay successfully – meaning w/o sustaining any injuries! I have found that our expectations of ourselves and others are often the very source of our dissatisfaction with one thing or another. Think about it like this: You enter a contest with the expectation that you will do so well as to place in the top three of all the contestants, you work as hard as you can to live up to each and every expectation you had as well as all those expectations you believe others have place on your shoulders. At the end of the contest, after done your best and believing with all your heart that you deserve first place – not only do you NOT place in the top three, but you don’t even place in the top 10. What happens to your sense of self? What are your immediate thoughts about all your planning and preparation? Immediately following a perceived failure, our sense of self is dashed and we wonder what’s so wrong with us and what we could have done differently.
What if…..we had worked harder? What if….we had pushed a little further? If only…we had not developed blisters. If only….we had more sleep….You get the idea. So, with this lesson on expectations in my mind, I decided to enter this 36 hours of Ragnar Relay without ANY expectations! No expectations of my friends and teammates other than to be present – but after 6 months of changes – I was READY for someone to bail at the last minute. I had no expectation that I would finish the 7 1/2 mile loop of the relay in under an hour or even two hours…no expectation other than to FINISH. I allowed the time to simply flow…I followed the lead of others around me and the situation and just let it unfold.
You know what happened? I enjoyed myself!! I wasn’t stressed out and irritated! In this moment of reflection I find that I am SATISFIED with the outcome….This is AMAZING!
My friend John S. posted a note to our team page this morning and it surprised me a little. This is what he said, “Just wanted to say thank you to Lynn. You have been a remarkable friend, mentor, training partner, and pain in the butt!! I could not have asked to be on a better team and honored that you invited us all to share in this experience with you!” Why was I surprised? I guess because I didn’t see myself as anything other than a pain in the butt….and maybe a training partner to a few of my teammates! 😉 My EXPECTATIONS of myself and my role in the lives of others was minimized.
To all of the members of my Ragnar Team – THANK YOU! Norma, Jason, Jack, Jenell, James, Marlene and last but certainly not the least…John S. Every single one of you gave your best, tried your hardest and left it out there somewhere in the middle of Comfort, Texas! I am so thankful to have great training partners, friends and friendly competitors among you. I also want to say thank you to our volunteer Sarah and a Lady by the name of Liz (Johns wife) who is always gracious, volunteers to help others, provides food for the hungry athlete, and blankets for the cold! Thank you Liz!
This was a weekend of wonderful memories! Now……on to the NEXT adventure! Who’s ready?!! 😀
Until next time….PEACE