If we use the number of people (a majority) who follow a proscribed path in life as the primary way to validate that a selected approach / plan is productive or preferred, then we might miss new ways of thinking that could work well in improving the outcomes we set out to achieve or the feelings we would want to have on the way there.  THPL tends to skew unconventional (defined as not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed) and so it could be that the norm (or lack thereof) for THPL allows us to be different, to use our own experiences combined with what we learn from others as the guidepost for how to achieve high performance. 

And so I had the opportunity to put this thinking to the test today at the 18th running of the Steamtown marathon.  The “typical” runner’s advice leading to a marathon is to taper before the race so that you are fresh and ready to run.  Given the constraint that I have related to staying on track for my 3,000 mile 2013 goal, I ran long distances over the past three weeks, in reverse order 86 miles, 91 miles and 84 miles – which led straight into marathon Sunday.  You might think I would be tired, lacking in speed and strength and not ready for a marathon.  As it turns out this was not the case and I was able to bring a “race hard” mindset to the marathon.  The mindset was the difference maker and it allowed me to deliver on a personal best of 3:06.  I was capable of this positive mindset because I have a plan / approach that works for me.  It has been successful this year and it gave the confidence I needed and a certainty about what I could do with my abilities and my mind.  I proved to myself again today that my attitude drove me to the result and my body followed suit.  I found a few times during the run convincing myself “not to be afraid” of the pain or the challenge.  And so it was, I was able to take it to the max and push forward with a level of focus and determination that THPL teaches us to do.

Lastly, I remain convinced that we should not get caught up in the “one and only way” to do something.  Have fun figuring out what works for you and then test it again and again and then use it when it works for you.  I am sure that there will be a moment when your mindset catches up with your abilities, you will get that PB, and have fun doing it ……showing to all that it is indeed productive to be unconventional.

Loving life because we do things differently