Thursday, January 15, 2009

D.D.Y.A. and Optimistic Running

While I was busy attending to patients the other day, one of the fellows I supervise said something that took me by surprise. My resolution this year is to be a little bit more like you.

Me? In what way? I asked, somewhat flabbergasted.

“In your optimism. You always find the bright side of every situation. You hope for the best even when there’s all the evidence to the contrary. You believe patients will do the right thing even when they’ve failed time and time again. I find that really neat.”

To be honest (to you, not to her), for most of my life, I had been known as the complete opposite, the pessimist. For much of high school and even some of college, I was always the one picking up and pointing out little faults and imperfections with everyone and everything I came across. It got to a point that someone nicknamed me “Il Depresso” behind my back because I could never be 100% satisfied and was a nightmare to be around.

So you might ask how it came to be that I’m so different now? How am I able to be so consummately positive when I grew up always being negative? Although I don’t know the complete answer, I can say for sure that running and the lessons I’ve learned on the road had a big part to do with it. To me, running breeds optimism. No matter what kind of runner you are or what you’re striving to achieve, you are always thinking about that next run or next race, and imagining how perfect it can be, so that no matter how good or bad today’s training went, you can look forward to a better next run. I mean, isn’t this the point of all the training anyways, so that for one day, in one race, you can imagine yourself running it perfectly.

One of my friends, Frayed Laces, posted a video today, where she revealed the origins of our favorite mantra, D.D.Y.A. Although I thought it was classified information, since it technically did happen in Vegas (and we all know the rule about stuff that happens in Vegas…), I’m glad that she got to share the story with the running community because it is a testament to the power of positive thinking. In order to perform a strenuous physical activity and do it well, it is more important for the athlete to believe he can finish the job than to just have the talent to perform well. The essence of D.D.Y.A. is about positive conviction and eliminating self-doubts which can be so detrimental to one’s chances of success.

I hope you all have a good rest of the week. (For those of us in the Northeast, brace yourselves for the Artic Freeze coming your way!) As for me, it’s going to be treadmill or bust for the next few days.

18 comments:

Count of Monte Christo said...

Running is great for many things. I also experience the positive energy and optimism because of my running, and I am sure that this is one of the many healthy (both physical and psychological) aspects of the activity.

The Happy Runner said...

You are so right that running breeds optimism! And, what we think totally influences our outcomes. I haven't seen FL's video yet but I plan to get over there this morning.

Enjoy the treadmill. I'll be on mine as well -- it is really cold out!

J said...

I really liked FL post about DDYA and I was thinking about it this morning. I was thinking about it and how sometimes I over think my track meets (especially with hurdles). I realized this morning that I have the ability and I just need to relax and run the way I can! Thanks for the insight and positive thinking! It really is contagous!

raulgonemobile said...

I really enjoyed FL's post and like the philosophy you guys have

Cindy said...

it is a good mantra. running have shown me that i'm capable of so much more than i thought.

D10 said...

I think you are a very postive person for us all! Stay warm and happy TM running. At least you have an option with the bitter cold on its way.

Pilar said...

You truly inspired me. I'm so glad I found your blog.
Good Luck with the cold!

aron said...

this is such a great motto :) i always try to be really positive to people but sometimes internally i can be really hard on myself so this is a great motto to embrace - thank you!

Meg said...

Great post and reflection! I liked DDYA, what a sweet thing to tell someone when they're nervous about their potential!

Stacey said...

I am new to your blog..glad I found it.
I agree, a positive attitude is everything and you can do anything you put your mind to! Great post.

Frayed Laces said...

Hey, at least I'll never leak the truth about the Thunder from Down Under....

Run For Life said...

What a great compliment to get from a coworker!

That's very true about running and I certainly enjoyed FL's video. Besides, you guys already broke the Vegas rule when you posted race reports and sharing a running mantra is good karma!

bill carter said...

Hi Lam

Stay warm and stay healthy.

It will be time for a great Boston before you know it.

Running and living said...

I agree with Aron. It's easier to be positive on the outside and out a positive front, but it is much harder to sit with your insecurities, understand them, and turn them into positives. Great motto!
Ana-Maria

X-Country2 said...

What a kind thing for your co-worker to say. I agree that running tends to breed optimism. Every race is a clean slate.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Hey Lam. I think maybe I needed to read this today. I have felt the same way about optimism over running and how you have to develope it if you are going to continue. What a testament that you have in fact, let it spill over into your life, which is what I have always been striving to do (even the masthead of my blog.) I've gotten myself in a bit of jam requiring surgery so it's going to be a bit of a road back, but I'm reminded of your injury and Frayed Laces and many others who have come back. Thanks for the hope today when I needed it.

Missed you.
Nanc

Julianne said...

I totally agree! Running and optimism totally go hand in hand. Not just the whole endorphins thing but if you didn't have optimism, why would you keep running and racing? I mean, unless you are a total masochist?????

sRod said...

That reminds me of my favorite quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." It's been great motivation for me.

 
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