With Mother's Day approaching and my business about to launch I want to make reference to the two most amazing women in my life. My mom Lynnea, and my girlfriend Kim. Both are the quintessential examples of a motherly figure and I'm very blessed to be able to learn from them both everyday.
The real story behind this blog is going to be about my moms advice. Her advice came during a track meet when I was in high school competing over the summer at the Empire State Games. I was running the 400 meters (my strongest event) as the fifth event of the day during day 1 of the decathlon. Knowing that day 2 was filled with my weaker events, I felt as though I needed to really put up a good effort on day 1 and try to hold onto whatever lead I could maintain for the rest of the competition. If your not familiar with the scoring system or track events in the decathlon that doesn't matter, what matters is that I put pressure on myself to perform at a very high level and didn't succeed to the standard I set for myself.
So back to the story...I finished my race and ran over to the officials to check my time so that I could calculate my score and BOOM, punch to the gut. Even though I won the race, my time was way slower than I was hoping for so winning doesn't matter. Being competitive by nature I am furious at myself. I didn't deliver the result I wanted because I was distracted at managing the scores of previous events... I was distracted by the performance of previous events... I probably didn't plan appropriately for the fifth event of the day...lots of wondering thoughts, not enough micromanaging of the moment. I was prepared for the moment, but let so many other factors influence the outcome. I made COMPLEX what should have been SIMPLE. My mind was everywhere else, except on the strength of my favorite event. I. WAS. PISSED.
Enter my mom, with my little sister in tow, they made the hour drive to then watch me compete all day. In her angelic tone of voice she asks,
"Whats wrong Nick?"
"Mom did you see the race, that was terrible!" in a pissed off, hot tempered, sarcastic tone
"I thought you ran very well" she replied encouragingly
"Worse time of the year and you think that was good?" I'm an ass at this point and taking it out on her
and then she hits me with the best piece of life advice I've ever received
"YOU WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER IF YOU JUST RAN FASTER" (still in an angelic tone)
She was absolutely correct.
Now my face and body language probably didn't describe how appreciative today I am for this golden nugget of wisdom, and I'm not even sure how I immaturely responded at the time, but she was right. The lesson was that simple. All the excuses I have made did not matter, I ran poorly and I could have done better. I let other things get in the way of something I had prepared for and set out to do. I needed to clear my head and I should have simplified.
So as unhelpful as her words post race were, they really could not be more applicable to every day life. We get distracted, we have obstacles, we can make excuses, but the goals we set still remain and they are independent of everything else. Yes I understand life happens to all of us, but in business, fitness, and life whatever our goal(s) are still remains the focus. Simple and realistic, the goal(s) we set are easily attained if we do not over-complicate the issues. Know when to micro manage and when not to. You will run faster, lose weight, get stronger, look better, rehab quicker, grow your business, etc, etc, etc when you don't lose sight of what is in front of you from all of life's distractions.
Keep things simple.
Say thank you to those who help you.
One simple sentence at a time when I was furious is now the first thought I have when I hear the word "mom." It keeps me in check when things get complicated. It also humbles me when I think Ive got everything figured out. Happy Mother's day to you both, thank you, and I love you.