"The Highs & Lows Of Competition" (Blog #117)
It started sixteen weeks ago when you decided to sign up for a Spartan Race (or any competition). You were scared out of your mind, but your training gave you the confidence to take the first step. Your weeks were full of anxiety, excitement, worry and doubt. Deep down you knew you could do it, especially with the help of your teammates. As the race got closer, you trained harder and even started to impress yourself with the amount of things that you could now do. Now the day has arrived and you step into the bathroom with wobbly legs and you're trying to think of a way out, but there isn't one. You have tears in your eyes and a serge of adrenaline comes over you as you approach the starting line...This is it!
Your months of training have brought you to this point, you are in the race now and suddenly you're smiling, relaxed and actually having fun. You grind through the race hour after hour, quitting never even enters your mind, you keep pushing forward, you have laser focus. At mile one, life is great and you're on top of the world, at mile six, you're ready to roll up in a ball and get the hell off this god-awful mountain, at mile eight you see the finish line and another shot of adrenaline hits you like a mac truck...You cross the finish line, you've succeeded, your training worked, you are now a Spartan. This is the high of a life time for many, you spend the next day or two pinching yourself to see if it's real....It is!
Now the Lows...
Two days after your competition (with yourself), the adrenaline, serotonin and endorphins have worn off, you are sore, beaten and bruised. You're contemplating whether or not to get out of bed the next few days because you just don't feel like it. Your superhuman feelings have left the building, and you are now in a slight depression.
After experiencing such a rush and a high like the one you will feel after a mountain Spartan race, it's very common for most people to go through these exact stages. Your body and mind were on HIGH ALERT for months prepping for the upcoming race, and within forty-eight hours, it's all over. Now what?
You are not alone, in fact, from the hundreds of people I've talked to, this is actually felt by most of them. So what can you do to combat this feeling? Take a week off, hell, take two weeks off and relax, recover and reset. BUT, immediately after your break, you sign up for another challenge or competition. Then you repeat the steps towards success. As you do this more and more, the "crash" isn't as hard and actually goes away for most. Your body adapts, you learn how not to overtrain, your Central Nervous System (CNS) learns to recover quicker, your hormones regulate themselves better, and your mind learns how to overcome fears.
Life is full of highs and lows and these races are no different. You suck it up when things get tough, and you be humble through the good times and try to lend a helping hand to those who need it.
I'll see you all on the next mountain...