A significant portion of your success in OCR, or lack of success as the case may be, can be largely attributed to your self discipline and patience. How you approach your training in the days, weeks, and months leading up to a race will determine how prepared your body is on the day of the event. Your attitude and emotions on race morning will play a big part in your race, as will the way in which you handle adversity and success during the race.
Self discipline is pretty simple to define, but in practice, it is a never-ending endeavor to do the job that needs to be done no matter what else is happening. Discipline is something that someone else can do to you, but self discipline, just as the phrase makes clear, is something that only you can do for yourself. Self discipline means getting yourself outside of your comfort zone to do the training that makes you a better athlete even when it is uncomfortable. Self discipline is completing the programmed 8 mile run on Saturday afternoon, and not cutting it down to a 5K because you want to relax this weekend. Self discipline is eating food that fuels your body for activity and recovery and not just eating what tastes good.
Just as the only way to be a great runner is by running, the only way to learn self discipline is to practice it. Discipline yourself. Discipline your actions and thoughts towards your goal. One of the greatest keys to success in any aspect of life is the ability to be consistent. Without self discipline, consistency is difficult, if not near impossible to maintain. As such, success is equally difficult to reach.
Patience also needs to be practiced in order to become comfortable with. For many, patience can be just as hard to master as self discipline. Patience is important in all of your OCR training and planning. You need to allow the process the appropriate time to work. Everything takes time, and that's very true of physical adaptations, building strength and endurance, and growing in strength. If you don't have the patience to work through several months of consistent training leading up to a race, you won't perform at your best. So many athletes begin training, and if they don't see results very quickly, they give up. Gaining improved physical fitness takes time no matter who you are. If you don't have the patience to continue working toward your goals, even when it takes months or even years, you won't reach your goals. You have to be patient with the process.
You also need to be patient with yourself. You won't feel perfect every day. No one does. You won't want to train every single time you're supposed to. No one does. You'll have mental lapses and make mistakes and have down days. Everyone does. You need to be patient with yourself as a new athlete, and even as an experienced athlete. You'll also need patience on race day. You'll need to be patient enough in your racing to not make mistakes or burn out from trying to rush things. You'll need to be patient in understanding how your body is feeling at any given moment and making smart racing decisions accordingly. You'll need patience with yourself if you mess up an obstacle so that you can limit the damage done and still have the best race you possibly can.
Patience and discipline are so key in OCR, that I'm willing to go out on a limb and let you all know that you will be a flop without them. Sure, there may be some physical phenomenon out there who does well even though they are undisciplined and impatient, but even they will be mere shells of the athlete they could be without self discipline and patience.
Practice self discipline and practice patience. You're goals will start to become realities.
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