Friday, November 5, 2010

Losing Control

I like to be in control of my own life.

When I began running I had little to no control over my life. Starting running was starting to take control. By taking control of my life I gained confidence in myself and my abilities as a person. Losing control is scary and uncomfortable. I am beginning to lose a bit of control of some aspects of my life.

Control can sometimes be interpreted as self determination. Each individual in society has the will to determine their own future. We do not like when others control our destiny and the response is usually one of stress. A large part of development as a child is learning to determine ones own path. We are engineered to demand independence and challenge rules. Ask a parent with a teenage child and you will gain an understanding of pushing limits of control. As much as we desire to control others we do not want to be controlled.

There are individuals in society who are free thinking. I am fortunate to know a large number of well educated free thinkers who have worked years to develop a comprehensive skill set of making informed decisions. What happens when the ability to think is taken away in favor of a drop down menu?

Each runner at a start line has had the control to get themselves to the start line. Each of those athletes had the self determination to work hard to get to a position to compete. The runners all had guidance but each of them took the responsibility to complete the work necessary to train at their best and compete well. A good coach or leader has an ability to provide their athletes with the tools needed to succeed without pulling away their self determination. The athlete must feel in control of their life to ensure optimal performance. An athlete smothered will not perform to their potential. We have all seen the smothered athlete. This is the individual who does not rise to the occasion. This athlete cracks under the pressure of competition. This athlete quits their sport at their first chance. This athlete is miserable.

I am starting to feel like a smothered athlete in one very important part of my life. It is not sport and nor is it relationship based (I do not have a boyfriend or a date). Losing control over something I feel very passionately about is very distressing. I work hard and try to do a good job with every challenge I face. I believe in the power of an individual to change the world, even if it is done one life at a time. My goal for my life is to effect positive change. I feel this goal is being threatened.

I am on vacation for a week and I will be using this as an opportunity to begin training again in earnest and do some hard thinking. On this road to growing up I must make some difficult decisions. I may be at an important time in my life. Do I want to run at the back of the pack or do I was to lead?

Happy Training!

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