8 Weeks Completed!
The Philosophy of Failure
National Boards, Part III
8 Weeks Completed!
There’s still a long way to go but a long way has been covered since those first 10 second of jogs when I worried that I might break something by moving faster than a walking pace. In two weeks, I’ll be 1/3rd of the way through the program. After two weeks, I’ll be on week 11 of the program which starts the actual marathon training portion of the program, that last for 4 months plus, I’m still 4 weeks ahead of schedule so, as of today, I have 5 months left to continue my training before November 1st. Week 9 training, as shown in the remaining schedule below, is a bit more running than week 8 but actually less than called for in Week 10. This is one of the first things I’ve had to learn (or relearn) in that giving the body a chance to rest & recover is imperative. It’s something I first learned with weight lifting when I remained stuck for about a decade with a 450 pound bench press. It wasn’t until a personal trainer told me to cut back on my lifting and only lift heavy one day per week that I allowed myself to recover and shoot my bench over 500 pounds within a matter of months.
Beyond the physiology of training and recovery, the mental aspects have been quite interesting. Some of my first visions were of being “plugged in” to an energy source I had not felt in a very long time. I used to always feel there was enough inside me to light up all of New York city but, somehow, someway, those feelings dissipated over the years of my life and I wasn’t even very much aware that I had lost those feelings and perceptions of myself. The window pane where I could feel like each run was wiping away smudge from a glass pane that separated me from the person I was going to become was another really cool vision and then the latest daydream of creating a safe place for me to be while completing my hourly runs. Personally, I really don’t have an overwhelming amount of time to daydream, ponder and visualize these types of things in my normal everyday life and, if or when I do daydream, it’s usually just something much smaller and insignificant and usually designed to help avoid whatever task I should be doing.
I watch very little television but, I think the brain wave state the mind is put into after watching a few minutes of tv is ….. well, I’d rather create my own life. It’s back to having to either deal with a life that is of your own choosing or having to deal with a life created as a result of neglect and, sometimes abuse. And, by abuse, I’m mainly talking about not caring enough about ones own life so as to let it degrade to crap then having to lament the situation(s) we let ourselves get into.
I used to always have that type thinking handy. Whenever I thought someone else had done me wrong, I would step back a second and, instead of undue pondering over how someone else may have let me down, I would think ….how much have I let myself down? Inevitably, I would always have to conclude that I have always let myself down far more than everyone else combined could have possibly done.
One of the most useful mental fitness type of training that has been done has been to become more aware and less afraid of failure. After my first 20 minute non-stop run, I was ecstatic! Kind of happy beyond measure but, the very next run I could only complete 13 minutes of nonstop running and was very disappointed in myself. That was a failure – at least it was in my mind at the time it happened. I believe what happened was I had just completed a mile and heard Nikeplus tell me (via my earbuds) that I had just completed a mile and was told I did so in record time. I was looking for an excuse to stop and told myself that hitting that new PR was good enough…
I think that was part of a default safety mechanism that most people have – to stay where they are. To stay in their comfort zone where everything is familiar. To not change.
Philosophy of Failure
Reading about that graph which plotted the Challenge level of a situation against the ability needed to perform a given task gave my mind an extra framework with which to ponder failure.
In some of the reading I did pertaining to that graph, it was stated that the best way to improve oneself is to go from the flow area, straight up into the Anxiety/Frustration/Fear of Failure portion of the graph, maybe not to a huge extent but, at least to push ourselves into that realm and then do what we needed to in order to increase our skills or ability to get back into the flow area.
Intuitively, this made sense.
Better and faster results could be obtained from following the path of the blue arrows as opposed to the path indicated by the red arrows. Of course, it’s not exactly, easy or fun to push ourselves into that area indicated by the blue arrows. I remember the first 20 minute run – I took some notes on my phone while jogging – before I started I told myself everything I needed to succeed was already inside of me but – after a half mile or so, I told myself “Do the Scary” which, maybe sounds a little weird but, it’s pretty clear now that I was pushing myself into that anxiety state, the one where failure exist but I knew I had to co-exist and do my best to get along with that scary stuff in order to have any chance of getting better.
The path I’ve been running around has been a very good classroom. My thoughts on failure have gotten much clearer and are tending to make perfect sense to me. The need for failure, the need to push ourselves into a position where failure may be an outcome.
Part III, National Boards
I have 3 months and 13 days before the next Part III board exam. I have until July 8th to pony up $610 for that exam and the best part about that is it has to be cash – no credit cards accepted. I have one of my review books out and ready to go. A five day per week plan has come to mind.
There’s self study and board reviews with NBS (National Board Specialist). Florida & Georgia are the first two locations for reviews but, Florida would be a 1,000 mile trip but, Georgia could be hit on the way back home. If I had a newer car that might be a more reasonable option. As is, it may be a trifecta of Overland Park, in KS, Davenport IA again and, of course, Chesterfield, MO. Parts II and III reviews at all three places. I’ll have to look up those dates again or find the blog where i originally posted those dates. I suppose the PT reviews could be added in as well.
If I keep things local, that is, within 4 hours drive from home then we’re looking at the following 20 days of board reviews (3 extra days if I add those PT reviews…)
- Davenport, IA – Sunday, Aug 10th through Sunday, Aug 17th (8 days)
- Overland Park, Kansas – Friday, August 22 through Wednesday, August 27th (6 days)
- Chesterfield, MO – Thursday, August 28th through Wednesday, September 3rd (6 days)
Most review sessions run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour for lunch but usually run over. …looks like the Tuesday through Friday sessions in Davenport will run from about 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Well, easily over 100 hours worth of reviews. I still need to create an extra tab here on my blog to help track this stuff.
I better get moving, still have a lot of work to get done today. 🙂