I was scrolling through the good ol' Book of Face when I came across a post that had me chuckle to myself.
Of course I was alone in the house, but both dogs gave me a look of "Keep it down." I don't know what made me laugh, the thought of being sad after finishing a big race seemed weird to me. Shouldn't you be happy that you accomplished something, that you finished, etc.
I made a decision in February to prone paddle the Blackburn Challenge. I started the sport in February, and trained hard for 5 months. I changed my life to make this race happen. I finished the 22 miles in 5 hours and 23 minutes. More importantly I raised of three grand for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.
After the race I got back to work, flew out to Salt Lake City. While there I met up with the John Wayne Crew and left a gift to them. It was a shirt from the race. Every set of initials that were on my board written on it. There were over seventy sets. We talked about what was next and what the foundation was doing going forward.
When I left the booth I was done for the season. Not bad for a first race season. Not bad at all. After the meeting though I was back at work.
When this article appeared on my News Feed I shrugged it at first. Then as I was waiting for flight to New Orleans I had the time to read it. It sunk in. What do I do until next year besides plan. Final decision...Spoiler Alert... Something else. I will still paddle, I love it! I will also paint, climb, spend more time with the dogs in the back yard! I will rest until next season's training starts. Then I will train hard, I will paddle fast and as always enjoy my time.
When I started paddling I used Molokai winner Jordan Mercer as inspiration. (She won again this year!) Then as I was preparing for the Blackburn I was watching some race footage from previous Molokai 2 Oahu races, and who graces the screen but none other that Ms. Mercer. And she mentioned something that stuck with me until race day.
"Controlling yourself mentally because staying positive is such a crucial element of this race, that's what's going to get you across the finish line. Of course hard work and the physical is a massive component but I'm telling you, you have to be positive in the head there."
I kept a positive outlook on the race and it worked in my favor. I always had another quote that my paddleboard shaper Patrick from Banh Pho said " Just don't get on the boat." He told me that a couple days before hopping a plane and heading out to complete the Molokai race himself. That stuck too.
I never understood the mental game until now having never raced. Now I see that it can greatly affect your outcome. And some ways to control that graced my New Feed just moment ago from Outside Magazine. I won't be laying on any couch anytime soon, mostly because the dogs have taken it over. But I think I am good in the head.
Now let's enjoy some down time. . . Until next race season!!!