Recently, I was talking with a friend of mine about books. I said to him that I like biographies/autobiographies and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book is one of my favorites and it’s really good. He asked me what I learned from it. I said having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and some goal in life.
Do I have a clear vision?
I do. It’s Badwater 135. That’s it. It’s simple but not easy and it requires a few years of preparation.
Badwater is considered the toughest and the most demanding ultramarathon. It has a legendary rank among other ultramarathons. It’s true that it’s not the longest because there are longer than it, for example, Spantholonh that I want to run as well. Yet, there is a combination of distance 135 miles / 217 km and the temperature that is about 50C / 120F and… it’s uphill. It looks like the best combination to create an extremely difficult race.
The first big step was the CCC race.
Why is it worth having a clear vision?
I think it does. It’s easier to make a decision about what to do with your time. It’s very common that there are worse days and you don’t want to go running or when the weather is awful (I set the rule for myself that I don’t run when there is a storm or hail) and it’s easy to make an excuse to run tomorrow. I found myself often thinking: I was training hard yesterday so today I don’t need to and I’ll do more tomorrow. The truth is that “tomorrows” don’t make up for what I missed the previous day. Every time when I think I’ll do it tomorrow I know I must do it today. And this is it, day after day closed to the goal, every run gets me closer to the Badwater.
Other things are that I know I can’t start because they could distract me. I have some ideas I want to do for example Ironman on Kona or Elbrus race but if I start preparing for all of these things at the time I won’t prepare for anything. I selected one thing and I keep going to achieve it. Focus.
What after achieving this goal?
Work on the next thing, there is always something to work on. The more difficult and challenging. When I’ll achieve it, I’ll set a new one. It’s the infinity process, it’s like a horizon.
After achieving something you reach the next mental and physical level, for example, the maximum distance you can run is 5km, when you think about running 2km it sounds easy but if you think about 10km it’s hard. After some time you’ll be able to run 10km and it’s some kind of achievement. Your mental level rises and you know you can do something you couldn’t earlier and you move forward with the next thing. Thanks to physical training your mental level gets higher and you know it’s time for the next challenge.
This mental training from running doesn’t only affect your workouts, it also has effects on other things. Let’s say you want to learn a new language, you just copy the same process from running. You learn the first word and then the second one. After a week you know a couple of them.
When you stop learning you’ll forget words you have learned, it’s the same with fitness level but your mind stays on the same level and it’s much easier to come back. This is one of the reasons why it’s much easier to come back to shape than building it from nothing.
Achieving a goal in one aspect of life influence on everything else.
Do you need to have some specific goal or vision?
It may occur that you don’t have your goal right now. So should you wait until you find one? I don’t think so. There is another concept that is “moving towards some direction”. Let’s say you’d like to start running but your goal isn’t Badwater or marathons. It’s worth it to start doing something and then start finding the goal. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was young he didn’t start working out with the vision of best bodybuilder, he started, and then his vision was clarified. So start doing and find the goal while doing it. That goal in life doesn’t have to be constant, you can change it if you want.
Do you have your own clear vision?