What Do You Really Want: Racing For The Right Reasons

I enjoy a good book and read my fair share on psychology, lately I’ve been fascinated by what influences our decision making. This got me thinking about my wants…are they really what ‘I’ want? So prepare to get a little deep.

The choices you make, no matter how large or small aren’t always your own. My entire life I have formulated a world view; How I see things through my own eyes and this view is heavily tinted by family, friends, education, upbringing, TV, books, the Internet and so on. This world view informs every first thought, reaction, emotion and opinion that makes me, me. So maybe my goals and expectations aren’t actually mine at all? How often do you scrutinise a thought, a want or feeling? Have you ever questioned the process to test if YOU have informed your own actions?

Lets take the tiniest sample of my day. This morning I woke, dressed, slid into some slippers, ambled to the loo and brushed my teeth. That morning routine has been influenced by what is seen to be ‘the right thing to do’ and my upbringing. Which was influenced by my parents upbringing and so on. So who decided slippers should be worn, or the appropriate layers of clothing, or how best to brush our teeth and the timing of it all. I am not bothered by these tiny details, the interesting question is, how far does this extend? What other areas of my life have been decided for me?

Of course, taking guidance and leaning on best practise is a wise move but only when its conscious. I do my morning routine passively, I have never even thought about it until recently. Imagine analysing every part of your day, every goal, belief and even your long term ambitions to find they are actually not your own but influenced heavily by others. And if your long term goals are not your own, they probably won’t make you happy.

Get to the point I hear you say! Every now and then its healthy to challenge your views, how you train and most importantly the races you enter. Are they really your own choices, or have you just fallen in line with the status quo? You probably train to race, are you selecting races for the right reasons, because you are connected to them and truly want to take part? When you ‘want’ to run an Ultra do you really? Is it what you want or what everyone else seems to be chasing?

Short and sweet but food for thought all the same. This really does apply to everything in life, not just running.

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Darren Smith

Training with purpose since October 2016 Darren has gone from trailing the pack to winning local races and the times keep on falling. A true believer in hard work over natural talent he writes to help others realise their true potential. Darren's race schedule for 2018 includes the Hardmoors Wainstones marathon (1st place), Keswick Mountain Festival (10th place), Scafell Skyrace and Salomon Ring Of Steall (World Championship race.)

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