What draws many of us to obstacle racing is the unknown – the fresh challenges of every course, and the uncharted territory of every race day. But the very thing that draws us to OCR is also the thing that makes performance on race day, at times, so unpredictable. When pressure mounts for big races, sometimes it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Define your own success. Whether you are looking just to finish or aiming to win the whole damn thing, and don’t let others tell you what success is. You do you.
-It’s going to get tough out there. Disaster strikes, and things can fall apart. If/when they do, look outward to get out of your head. Smile and thank your volunteers (which you should do regardless). Offer encouragement to your fellow competitors. Focus only on what you can do in that moment to fix what is happening, and fake it ’til you make it.
- Be humble and grateful. Athletic success can be fickle and fleeting, and sometimes the biggest victory is just even being out there able to compete. We’re pretty damn lucky if you think about it.
- Own your performance. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you just get beat. No one wants to hear, or believes for that matter, your excuses.
- Enjoy the community. As much as we can get caught up in our own performance on any given day, you’ll find that most of your fellow racers don’t really care how you finished – they care if you were cool to hang out with, and they care about the connections and friendships you can make off the course as much as on it.
- Things didn’t go your way? It happens – we build up the entire season to one race, and it’s easy to get lost in the fact that it’s just ONE race. Give yourself some time to be upset, cry in the shower, scream into a pillow, etc. Then clean up, go have a beer with your fellow competitors, and move on. Race results only define you if you let them.
- Cross the finish line with a smile. You earned it.