Personal bests are not necessarily fulfilling

Posted by Nick Constantine on Wed May 30th, 2012, No comments (be the first!)

As I get older I have a lot of questions about my running performances and what they really mean to me.  What is performance? Who am I performing for? Am I really going to compete, or am I going to complete? These questions need answering, or at least I feel they need answering. I am even unsure of the word "performing" in the context of me and running.  When I look at the dictionary definition of  "performance," there are a number of synonomous definitions: execution, show, accomplishment and - the one I feel is more me - fulfillment.

So, let me try that word on my practice of running. Do I find running fulfilling? Does it fill me more than the simple act of running? Can I use the running experience as a fuel that I tap into and use in other areas of my life?  If all I do is chase times, t-shirts and events, would I personally still find running fulfilling?  I think the word has more longevity than "performance," as this can be a temporary shot of accomplishment that drifts away from you as you look towards the next event.

Let us say you broke a running world record. That is an amazing achievement, but would you find it fulfilling?  Some great sports stars who possess fantastic talent do not appear to have this fulfilling experience linked to their achievement and performance.

So after much thinking, here are my lists of reasons why running allows me to have a fulfilling life,  a full life, a balanced life, a compassionate life and a giving life. Now, I do other things as well such as tutor, cook, practice Yoga, teach a little and read, so all of these things contribute but since this is a kind of running blog then let us stick to running. So here we go...

  • To continue to have good aerobic capacity for my age
  • To have a good diet
  • To improve my vegetarian cooking skills
  • To be able to go running at various distances between 1 mile and 20 miles in complete control; that is, to be always focused enough to complete either a half marathon or less including the Puma trail series
  • To enjoy Hills 
  • To stop and look at the scenery and enjoy nature and the feeling of oneness with it
  • To find lovely trails using my 1:25000 of Northumberland and write about them
  • To have various workouts over the week that are planned and thought through on a weekly and sometimes during the workout. That is change the workout during the run!
  • To have a positive attitude toward running events and plan these with care to ensure no impact on family life
  • To try and find a running partner to run on a regular once a week basis or 2 week/month basis.
  • To be generous and attentive to people around me
  • To develop Chi Running and Chi Walking in a mindful manner, being careful to allow others to share, grow and develop
  • To help young people in developing their attitudes and support them when in need
  • To be a good dad

Over to you - why do you run?

Tags

  • running performance,
  • goals,
  • mindfulness,
  • balance

What are your thoughts?

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A Chi Running Love Letter

Thanks. I've had phenomenal results so far with using ideas from Born To Run...and then from Chi Running. I should have read Chi Running first.

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