Endurance training is problem solving. In order to endure, to find the way forward, you have to deal with the pain and discomfort that arise along the way. You have to know when to eat, when to slow down, when to focus, and when to zone out.
What I know about myself is that I have a tendency to externalize my difficulties. This is a problem, because it makes problems much harder to solve.
I get irritated about how a run or ride is going, and I start to look for someone to blame. I get mad at the weather or the people I’m with, or even the people I’m not with.
The problem is me. It’s always me.
I’m hungry. That’s no one’s fault but mine. The wind is in my face. I need to accept that wind blows. It rains. I should have checked the weather. I’m cold. I should have dressed more carefully.
When I accept that I am always the problem, then I am also always the solution. Simple changes in attitude let me make better decisions about what to do next.
Eat something. Drink some water. Slow down.
As always, what we face out on the trails is a metaphor for what we face in our lives. What is the solution to our long collective history of racism, racial violence, economic oppression? The solution is in us.
We are the problem, and we have to change our approach.