Doubt is a wrecking ball. When Boise State’s kicker lined up for the game tying field goal a few weeks ago in the overtime game against Nevada, he had already missed a similar chip-shot kick which would have won the game in regulation. Hit it and Boise State could have potentially busted up the entire football schema and decades of big-programs looking down on the smaller school brethren. But he missed it. Lining up for redemption, the kicker, who would become the leading point scorer in NCCA history, talked about how doubt had crept into his helmet. Snap down, kick up, kick missed. Boise State loses.
Undoubtedly there was pressure involved with this kick. Also, kicks are just sometimes shanked even in non-pressure situations. Plenty of variables and factors led to this kick sailing off the mark. But there is no question that the doubt in the poor kicker’s mind played a huge part. They talked about icing the kicker by calling timeout and letting the kicker have time to think it all over. In running, all we have is time to think. Running is one gigantic “icing of the kicker.”
Whether it is during the race or prior to it, we as runners spend so much energy and time contemplating the “what ifs” and “maybes.” However, so much goes into each race that is beyond our control that this is indeed wasted effort. The best idea is to think positively and simply go with the flow. I recently received an email from Amy in Arlington, TX that stated the following:
“Dane, I just wanted to thank you for your inspiring words at the Beef Team dinner Saturday night. I was going into the weekend with a lot of doubts and negativity since I had just ran another marathon 3 weeks before that was quite painful. After talking to you, I completely changed my tune. I woke up Sunday ready to give it all I had, and I managed to run my fastest time yet. A time that I didn’t think I could ever run!”
That was at the Dallas White Rock Marathon last week. Just this past weekend I ran the Kiawah Island Marathon and conversed with Carol, who had just recently lost her sister. She was wondering whether a Boston Qualifier was possible for her. We discussed her training and what the course had to offer and I said I honestly felt she could qualify. I gave her a few tips, told her to listen to her body and go out with the right attitude. I then received this in my inbox: