“Be happy you’re here” This is my personal positive-spin mantra that I use whenever I am doing something awesome, that at the time my head tells me is less than awesome. Examples of these times for me are riding my bike when its rainy/windy/cold or running when it is dark, I am tired, and I feel slow.
Canadian pro cyclist Svein Tuft has the words “We will never be here again” tattooed on his arm. I have always thought this was a cool reminder to appreciate every experience since it is the only time you will be having it. For me, my mantra reminds me of appreciating the experience, but also appreciating the fact that no matter how much better the experience could be at the time, it could also be a lot worse!
I find this thought particularly helpful given that I do much of my training outside in less than ideal times of the day. Its hard to motivate yourself to run outside in January at 8:30PM after the kids have gone to bed, but I remember that not being able to run at all would be much worse. I had a block of ‘free’ time set aside on a Saturday this past March and I had planned to do a 2 hour road ride. Unfortunately the weather was less than great – wind and torrential downpours combined with a temperature of 8C made it difficult to want to go for a nice long bike ride! I toyed with the idea of bailing on my plan (the thought that first crosses my mind when conditions are less than perfect), but finally decided to give it a try in hopes the rain would stop and knowing that I could always cut it short if the rain didn’t. It ended up being the wettest, coldest ride I had done in a long time and the only time I had ever voluntarily set out on my bike in that kind of weather (normally you go out for a ride and it ends up raining which is easier to accept!) In the end I continually reminded myself that I was lucky to have the opportunity to drop everything else and spend 2 hours riding my bike – I was happy I was there. I rode 2 hours, I was cold, it didn’t ever stop raining, but I was happy and appreciative when I got home.
So next time you are doing something you love in less than optimal conditions, remind yourself to “Be happy you’re here”. It works for me!