Random Fact: Instagram data shows that Californians post the most driving selfies of any state population, while Mississippians post the least.
“Good luck with your race this weekend.”
“Are you sure you should be running with your Achilles not 100%.”
“If I was you, I wouldn’t do it.”
“Tyler, you are a beast. Just WOW!”
These are just a sampling of the comments that have been said to me in the last two weeks. Of course they are all prompted by my upcoming weekend as I venture to the beautiful state of Colorado to run a Spartan race. Usually when I am this close to a race I feel confident, and have some serious high standards for myself. However as we all know, with this race I have had to change my mindset due to some injuries.
Spartan season is upon me once again. AROO! So far this year, I have completed 4 races, but not at 100%. It wasn’t until I had to back out of the Dole Great Race of Agoura Hills that I finally realized my injury was not going to take care of itself. Through physical therapy, doctor’s visits, cupping, and the dreaded “rest” that comes along with any injury, I have started to make my comeback to get to where I was before my injuries happened. However, I do realize I am not there, and this is where the internal struggle happens.
I have to keep telling myself that the next few races I am doing aren’t not about being the BEST in terms of trying to beat my competition. These races are about getting back on track, figuring out where I am strength-wise with my injuries, and easing myself back onto the circuit. After all these races are not highlighted races I pointed out in “The Year of Awesomeness has commenced blog.”
“It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish.” – Jim George
“RELAX.”- Aaron Rodgers
These are two quotes I have been sharing with myself the last couple months to try and realign my mindset. My big goal is “how do I finish the season?” With the larger races and World Championship for Spartan starting in August, I need to use these races as a tune up, and that is exactly what I intend to do.
This does not mean I am taking these races lightly, or that I am not doing my best. In fact, my best at these races might not be comparable to my best in races of last season in terms of time and place, but it doesn’t mean I am not putting in hard work and dedication to getting myself ready for what is ahead. I am taking the proper steps to recover and doing what I can to compete at MY highest level.
Late Addition: As I was finishing up my blog yesterday I went to one of my Spartan role models and good friend Trevor’s house to get in some last minute spear throw practice (this is an obstacle). As we practiced the throws we discussed our injuries and how we are dealing with them. We talked about rest, cupping, therapy, and all those other things we do to try to get to our peak level before a competition. Later that night I received a text, which said the following:
“Some food for thought about injuries/pain. This probably goes against what a lot of people think, but it is something worth pondering. I continually tell myself things such as, “I am not sick” and “I am not hurt.” This works for me. I can push through most anything. Mentally, when on the starting line or even on a drive to the gym, I tell myself I feel good. If anywhere in your mind you can find a weakness you will focus on it when you’re at the point where your body wants to slow down or drop the weight. The take away is two fold. 1. Sometimes a little discomfort, often mistaken for pain, can give us the excuse to not push when we are hurting. 2. This mentality does not work for everyone.”
All of that being said, I am back to competing in my favorite event that is Spartan, traveling to the great state that is Colorado, and I get to make some more awesome memories and stories (which I am sure you will hear about in upcoming blogs). Knowing my competitive nature, and myself, I say I will race within my limits and use this as a tune, but I will probably go out there and give it my all (within healthy reason). As of right now, I really have no reason not too.
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Top 5: The Greatest Performances (in my opinion) when not 100%. From 5 to 1.
5. Kirk Gibson Walk-off Homerun: Game 1, 1988 World Series: A’s vs. Dodgers. He goes yard and does the AWESOME fist pump while rounding the bases.
4. Michael Jordan Iconic Flu Game: Game 5, 1997 Bulls vs. Jazz. Dealing with some sort of illness (it is up for debate), Jordan scores 38 points including a 3 pointer with 25 seconds to go to give the Bulls a 3-2 series lead in the Finals.
3. Muhammad Ali Vs. Norton: Can you imagine boxing with a broken jaw? Ali got hit so hard in the match that he broke his jaw. Despite losing by decision at the end of 12 rounds, the G.O.A.T (not Mayweather) stayed in a fight with a busted jaw. RESPECT!
2. Kerri Strug’s memorable Olympic Landing: 1996 Olympics. After injuring her ankle in a previous event, Strug sticks the landing which gave her the Gold.
1. The Bloody Sock of Curt Schilling: Game 6, 2004 ALCS Red Sox vs. Yankees. Maybe I am biased (ok, I am biased), but being a DIE HARD SOX FAN, this was a must win to make a game 7. Curt Schilling comes out with a torn tendon and pitches on a bad foot to propel the Fenway Faithful to game 7 and eventually winning our first World Series since 1918. Say goodbye to the curse !