Those two little words.
Nothing else causes me more trouble in an obstacle race than the rig. No matter what race, Savage, Battlefrog (RIP) or Spartan, I have yet to complete one.
Why? At first I thought it was a physical problem, I blamed a lack of upper body strength, I blamed lack of grip strength, I blamed a shoulder injury, I blamed just about everything I could imagine and worked to overcome those problems; but in the end, my results were still the same.
Get to the rig, make it part way across and fall off. At this point I am a perfect 6 for 6, but not in a good way. If I was going to be successful at this, something needed to change, but I wasn’t sure what that “something” was.
After honestly looking at my performance on the rig, I came to a revelation that should help me during the upcoming year. What I realized was it isn’t a lack of physical strength that was causing me to fail. It is a lack of mental strength that is causing my failures.
Since the rig is always one of the final obstacles and the finish line is almost always in sight, this is what plays out in my head as I approach the rig.
“The finish line is just after the rig, give it your best shot, make it across and you are done. If not, the worst case is some more burpees but they won’t stop you from finishing. It’s not a big deal”
When I truthfully examine my thoughts, I can see why I fail. From the start, I’m giving myself permission to fail and in reality, I haven’t expected to get across it. What is strange is that I don’t do that for any other regularly occurring obstacle. I expect to complete all of them, but on this one my attitude has been give it a shot and if I fail it’s no big deal. Then I am “shocked” when I repeatedly fail. But I am tired of failing, it has become a big deal.
It’s easy to say failure is no big deal, unless you actually want to succeed…
And this year I want to succeed. I want to make is across the rig.
So for 2017 THE RIG is a BIG DEAL. Now I just need to mentally treat it like one.
So next time you face an obstacle either in life or in a race, think about it and decide if making it past that obstacle is a big deal and if success really matters. If it is, make sure to treat it like one and don’t give yourself an easy way out.