by Gina Shell
One must keep the role that training plays in their life in perspective. Runners should always maintain a healthy balance of involvement in the sport with overall life. Running should contribute to your growth as a person, promoting passion, patience, and humility. Running should add something to your life, not detract from your life. It should give you qualities and experiences that enhance your life. Training and choosing to race should make you a better person.
Be a human being, not a human doing. People, by nature, base how they feel about themselves on accomplishments and not who they are. Human doings don’t have a lasting contentment, because they only feel as good as their last accomplishment.
Redefine your success and failure. Success has been defined as results and winning. The message being: you must win to be valued. For society, not living up to culture’s definition of success makes you a failure. You need to broaden your own definition of success and narrow the definition of failure.
Keep your running in perspective. You can become so involved with training, gear, and racing that it takes over your life. You become so involved that it is your main priority, and all other decisions in your life are based around running. Running is an important part of your life, but don’t make it your life.
Strive for excellence all the time, not perfection some day. The pursuit of perfection is unhealthy. It won’t lead to your success or happiness. Perfection is a goal that is unattainable and undesirable. Excellence takes the positive qualities of perfection. Excellence is you giving your best effort every training run or race. It relieves you of having to be perfect, encourages pursuit of goals as challenges, and allows you to deal with unexpected “tests” while training or racing.