The Challenge of Challenges
Roger Bannister achieving the elusive 4 minute mile. It was an epic quest in which many doubted it was even possible. Great mental strength and commitment over years ended in this landmark run.
A challenge is a task that makes you think twice before taking it on.
If you can roll into an event without much stress, without any doubts or a racing heart rate, it really isn't a challenge.
A challenge is most definitely NOT comfortable or welcoming.
The challenge of a challenge therefore is knowing full well that it will be tough... and then still doing it. It will be a test of your physical and mental strength and all of the preparation you have done to get to that point... but you still do it.
By committing to a challenge and seeing it through, you will get stronger, this is a fact. There is nothing quite like taking something that scares you head on, and coming out the other side intact and victorious. By backing away or sabotaging your preparation or execution, you will get weaker.
There are times though in our lives where we aren't ready for challenges. Life stress and physical injury are two factors that make even the idea of a tough event unpalatable and perhaps even dangerous. This is a protective mechanism, and one that is important for us to recognize and respect.
What we must not respect though is the body's desire to not be pushed. If the time is right and the preparation has been good, then the mind must nudge the body. You must make a mental commitment to the upcoming task, and accept nothing less than full effort.
Your body doesn't like full effort. It doesn't want to stay where heart rate approaches maximum and lactate accumulates exponentially. That's where you must rely on your mind and your commitment to the challenge to pull you through.
Set your sights on a challenge (or challenges) this year. Vary their scope and timelines. Tell others your intentions and get your mind in the game early.
Accept the challenge of the challenge.