I love competition and racing. I believe that periodically testing ourselves in racing environment is life enhancing. I believe that consistent, efficient movement is beneficial for our physical and psychological well being. I would suggest that if we were to revise our goals, or rather revise the way that we think about our goals and how they fit into our lives we may feel healthier, calmer, and minimise our times of ill health. I would suggest that overly focusing on external loci of control, be it this event or that time, this thing or the other, without proper consideration of our life stage is not an adaptive way forward. I would suggest that fitting our existence around striving to complete x in a certain time may be psychologically and physiologically unhelpful. What I’m inviting you to do is consider shifting your thought process from periodic competition being something you fit your life around to giving competition a place within your life stage.
As we progress through life, we move through different stages of development. Erickson discusses that we all travel through these stages, and these span the whole of our lives. The crux of these stages are several psychosocial crises. Trust vs. Mistrust in our infancy through to Integrity vs. Despair in our late adulthood. A more interesting way to look at these stages are the virtues which underpin each developmental stage: Hope, Will, Purpose, Competency, Fidelity, Love, Care and Wisdom. As adults, we are moving through or striving towards these later virtues. Doesn’t a life filled with fidelity, love, care and wisdom sound enticing?
If we gently consider our lives in the wider sense and move from “what race do I do next?” And how we fit our lives around that goal, to thinking in terms of how running is effective in helping us at our differing stages of life we may reach a point where we compete less. I would suggest that at times of competition we would A) more able to compete effectively and efficiently and B) Recover from the event in a more adaptive and timely manner.
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