I don’t like wishing people “Good Luck!” for their races.
It feels wrong to me, so I stopped awhile ago. I don’t admonish anyone else for the sentiment, when uttered or written, th0ugh. I liken it to the appreciation someone has for being wished a “Merry Christmas”by someone who didn’t know they were Jewish. It is the sentiment that counts, right?
I know. I am mean, heartless witch. Such a nice way to offer support to friends and say “GOGOGO!”, and I am all “PFFFHT, no way, Sparky, you get nuthin'”.
Not exactly, and here is my explanation. I hope it makes sense.
I have been thinking about encouragement, and how I can best be that positive voice while staying true to myself and my beliefs, instead of an autobot cheerleader I feel I sometimes slip into. I want to be able to support my friends in an awesome way, just for them, each of them. Targeted and meaningful. I have a lot of friends that run now. Each of them have a special place as a positive influence in my life, each in a different way. So I want to acknowledge that.
Right… You can all call me nutty now… Writing this out makes it seem wayyyyy weirder than it sounds in my head. So… bear with me. Seriously… Why did I start writing this post again? Oh right, because I want to share my strange and sometimes off-beat thoughts with y’all…
*ahem*… Where was I…
Wishing someone luck on a race, for me, feels like I am telling them that I hope a random, chance influence has a positive outcome during their hard-fought effort. OK, so maybe that is an overthink, but I base it on my own experience and efforts. See, when I hop into that corral, or toe the start line, the journey to get there is incredible. I worked hard, I planned. When I participate, finishing is a foregone conclusion. I will succeed. The achievement is getting to the race. The race is the celebration.
Luck has nothing to do with it.
All that time spent sweating and pushing myself has lead to this point, so I don’t need luck. I own it already. Yeah, *&%^ can go wrong, and it can suck *%$ when you can’t complete the challenge you trained for. But all that training and working and thinking was not for naught. Pick up, dust off, do better, right? (Sometimes I have a hard time with this one, and not beating myself up, but it is getting easier… I learned a lot at Tough Mudder. I am trying to enforce this more positive attitude on my efforts at subsequent challenges.)
I assume this way of thinking for my friends too. I want to tell them I believe they own it too. That this race, what they are about to embark on, is the culmination of one heck of an achievement of miles logged, weights lifted, etc.
So instead of a “Good luck!”, I say “Have a great race!” or I focus my best wishes on an aspect of the challenge I know that friend is trying to meet. For example, if someone is trying to stay calm in the corral, I will say “Sending calming and happy thoughts for your race!” or if someone is trying to PR, I will say “Hoping your legs are super fast today!” or “You got this! RAHHH!” (or something to that effect, I may or may not do a little happydance if in person…).
It feels more personal for me to say that. it feels like I am providing my best support possible. Perhaps it is selfish, or silly, or I am a whackadoodle…
But it is me. And I hope it helps.