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.