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There’s a quandary becoming more apparent amongst many in the OCR community, one that might be ringing true for you right now…is it better to try and fail than not try at all?

On the one hand you’ve got those who are all for the challenge, whatever the outcome. They seek the enjoyment of being with the community that provides a relaxing escape from the every day hustle and bustle. They relish the chance to penetrate two-inch think ice at Winter Nuts lap after lap because it puts them into their unknown, and although they might not make it to the race finish line, or over the obstacle in front of them, they get to a place where they learn something about themselves that they can take back into that hustle and bustle.

On the flipside, you’ve got those who feel they’ve pushed their limit to their max, and are quite content with the position they have gotten too. They race happily, pursuing that bling but get to an obstacle on the way that might require a little extra effort, and make the decision to bypass that carry, climb or crawl.

The fact of the matter is OCRs are tough. They’re not just a run, which in itself can be tough enough. OCRs require training – in the gym, on the road, through the mud. They involve moving weight, under weight, over and over again to condition oneself to be able to handle what an RD decides to throw at racers.

All this conditioning often requires several psychological compromises along the journey to be in the best possible place to take on the challenge thrown at us.

A decision to sacrifice an extra hour in bed to get through an early set of hill repeats, or to decline a glass of pinot on a night out because there’s a killer session happening the next day are our brains way of telling us to sacrifice in pursuit of our goals and dreams.

However, there comes a day when those goals become a reality. That decision many moons ago to pursue a challenge like an OCR to get yourself off the sofa, embracing fitness for both your physical and psychological health, finally pay off when you complete all the obstacles and cross that finish line.

And on that day, there’s an acceptance of all those sacrifices, and your brain starts to say it’s ok to have that glass of wine, snooze that alarm, and you start to skip an obstacle here and there because you’ll still get the medal at the end.

At this moment you may be thinking it’s the RD’s fault that the rules and enforcement of those rules let me get away with, but lets operate with integrity and focus on our own actions, rather than those of others.

In truth, the decision to take something on or not is your brains way of finding balance – seeking parity and protection from the compromises you make that put you under stress, where you triggered your fight or flight response and start choosing to fly from the perceived pain, rather than fight through it.

So, what can you do about it?

Well, there are a few things you might want to consider.

One is to ask yourself if you have honestly, truthfully and with a critical eye on stretching yourself, evolved your Why for taking part or competing in OCRs. This redefining of your purpose, and consequently your goals that align towards that, can reinvigorate that drive to pursue the person you now want to be.

Another is to consider the ripple effect you would like to leave on the world around you as you face that fight or flight decision.

And finally, instead of the decision being around to try and fail or fail to try, reframe the proposition to one of learn and grow, or grow and learn, and see what perspective you gain about yourself as a result.

Graham

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