Ground Control

In two days I’ll attempt to run the Las Vegas marathon. I’m really excited about it. I love Vegas, I’ve been here 17 times, and I’ve always thought about pairing my passion for running with my second favourite town in the US.

I initially registered to create more discipline in my exercise routine. I was getting lazy on the road; going out for dinners and drinks and skipping morning workouts. With a race on the calendar, I knew I’d be more diligent - and it worked. Rising in a hotel at 5:50am to run in the dark became easier, my fitness came back, and I logged three 20+ mile runs in training, something I’d never done in past training programs.

Three weeks before the race I was running on a treadmill and later that day my Achilles hurt so much that I was in pain walking down stairs. The pain hasn’t left. So we shall see what happens on Las Vegas boulevard in about 43 hours, but I’ve been pretty down about it over the past couple weeks.

Until I realized, the speed of healing for this injury is essentially out of my control. What is in my control is how I approach the race mentally, and how I handle the challenges I’m bound to experience. I’m going to be positive, look forward to toeing the line, and thank every volunteer I see. I’m even going to take a few selfies because I’m in control of how I perceive the situation.

I’ve noticed this phenomenon at work and in all aspects of life too. You are always in control of how you react to something, how you treat someone, and the energy you bring into a room or situation. Give off positive vibes, dress nice, smile, listen, and be kind and it’s amazing how your perspective can change.

Don’t like something your manager said in an email? You’re in control of how you act in your next meeting, phone call, or even career move.

Traffic making you late? You can’t control the traffic but you can make adjustments to your schedule next time and enjoy a bit of extra time today to listen to a podcast or think about your big presentation.

Did a restaurant screw up your order? Be excited to soak up a few more minutes with your friends or family.

Any time I start to have a negative emotion, I simply ask myself - are you in control of the situation? If the answer is yes, then change your actions. If the answer is no, then change your reaction.

Thanks for reading,

Mike