As triathletes, many of us like to carefully plan out or races. How we will perform, when we will intake salt tablets, take a sip of gatorade, etcetera etcetera. The “Type A” personality is certainly prevalent amongst triathletes, and even those who don’t classify themselves in this category can often find themselves trying to control situations in their everyday lives.
Besides racing (having to be SUPER early, meticulously planning out my race plan, signing up way in advance, and things along these lines), it can also be hard to “let go” in other areas of life, whether it be interpersonal relationships, school, work, or extracurricular activities.
This living a life without control as mentioned above can be hardest when it comes to interpersonal relationships – with friends, family, and otherwise. If someone drifts apart from you, or acts in a manner in which is contrasting to that of what you think they’re really like, it can be easy to try to alleviate the tension by controlling the situation and obsessing over how you can make it better.
This control in other areas of life can put stress on training — and, eventually — start to negatively affect performance. If you’re constantly obsessing over how you’re going to fix things with an old friend, or how you HAVE to get an A+ on your presentation or the. world. will. end., it can add a great deal of extra and unnecessary stress to your life.
Realistically, no piece of advice, story, or tip will completely alleviate many of our innate desires to control situations in our daily life. But here’s a small challenge — try to go a full day without obsessing over how to control and perfect your training, your next race, your conflict with a friend, or whatever it may be. (For reference, I tried this on Sunday. It worked for about half of the day until I felt the need to try to attempt to fix some situation. It’s a lot more difficult that you may think, haha).
At a certain point, after you’ve done everything you possibly can to alleviate the conflict or prepare for an event — the control needs to subside. After all, none of us can control everything.
Sometimes great things are worth the wait. And other times, letting go is the best option. Control isn’t bad — it can keep us in charge, organized, productive, and powerful. But it’s best in small doses. Challenge yourself — especially when it comes to your next race — to put in all the work necessary to perform, obviously, but to let go. Don’t obsess or try to control things out of your power.
As one of my favorite songs from childhood says — Que sera sera.
Whatever will be will be.
(Now for trying to live by that motto… haha)