There are three types of people in the world. The first are those that think Monty Python is someone in adult entertainment. The second are those who know that it’s just a flesh wound. Then there are those who can recite the entire Dead Parrot Sketch with the correct accents. If you’re in either of the last two groups, you’ve probably got an idea where this post may be going.
I’ve been wallowing in a bit of negativity at work recently. I’m typically a fairly upbeat guy, but there have been some developments that have left me wanting to swear and curse. Normally I can get past these moments rather quickly, however I can’t seem to stop rehashing the problems over and over again in my head.
Now I should be able to draw on my increasing ultra experience to mitigate this. Success in these events usually comes down to mental toughness and grit. There are countless times where it would be easy to let a downward spiral in races continue into the basement of a DiNFY. I think I’ve gotten better over the years in minimizing the depths of my lows. Part of this is probably due to the physical training I’ve done over the years as my body is just able to handle these low points better. My experience has probably also led me to get ahead of problems before they get too large.
I think an equally large component though is that I don’t let myself dwell on the negativity. I accept the suck, realize it won’t last forever, and am able to get past it without wasting too much time or energy. My rolled ankle at MMT is a perfect example. Here was something outside of my control and before the echos of the popping sound had even faded away, I was dealing with it and moving on. I seem to have this skill when it comes to running. But in everyday life? Not so much.
I like to think of myself has a happy-go-lucky type guy, but I can be wired a little too tight at times. I also have a very strong sense of right/wrong and tend to view the world as black or white. So when I encounter things that are clearly wrong and unchangeable, I get a little stuck. How can this be X when it should clearly be Banana? It’s like I’ve forgotten everything that I’ve learned from ultrarunning.
Or more accurately, I’ve forgotten to apply what I’ve learned in ultrarunning to my everyday life. I need to accept the suck, realize it won’t last forever, and move on. It’s not like challenges only happen on the trails. I’m sure part of it is a control issue. I have control on the trails as I can always stop, but it’s not like you can quit your job just because your boss is being a complete moron. (Note: if my boss is reading this, I totally meant coworker in the last sentence.)
So back to the title of this post. How do I best follow Eric Idle’s advice? How do I look on the bright side of life even if I feel like I’m being crucified? I’m not exactly sure (because I obviously haven’t figured it out yet), but I’m thinking it has to start with acceptance and perspective. Acceptance that I do not control the situation (no matter how much I’d like to). And perspective that this will not last forever (even though it totally feels like it will).
And if that doesn’t work, I’ll just give a whistle as this will help things turn out for the best.